January 14, 2013

No Self-Respecting Woman Would Go Out Without Make Up

diane sawyer senators croatoan.jpg




For some reason, one of the most emailed articles from the NYT was an article about whether women should or should not wear make up.  "New York Times? Sounds progressive."  Yes. 

Seven people were asked their opinion in a column called "Room For Debate," liars, there was no debate, all of them said "I guess so", their main contribution was the hedge: "it's a woman's choice."  So while pretending this was some kind of debate with contrasting opinions, all of them had the same opinion, which should automatically signal to you it is the wrong one.

When they say, "it's a woman's choice" what they mean is "it's not a man's choice, it is thoroughly stupid to wear make up just for men, the only acceptable reason is if you do it for yourself, if it makes you feel better about yourself."

Let me offer a contrary position, unpalatable but worth considering: the only appropriate time to wear make up is to look attractive to men.   Or women, depending on which genitals you want to lick, hopefully it's both.  "Ugh, women are not objects."  Then why are you painting them?  I'm not saying you have to look good for men, I'm saying that if wearing makeup not for men makes you feel better about yourself, you don't have a strong self, and no, yelling won't change this.  Everyone knows you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, now you're saying the cover of the book influences how the book feels about itself?

I am not doubting that in fact you do feel better about yourself, I am saying that that fact is both pathological and totally on purpose.  Since this cognitive trick does help you feel better about yourself, by all means go ahead,  but at what point will you stop pressuring other women to go along with it?  When will you stop "requiring" it, like when you say, "oh, she's so pretty even without makeup" as if the default was makeup?

The fraud women now believe is that it is wrong to look good for men only, as an end in itself; the progressive delusion is that looking good for men is synonymous with submissiveness, so while you're allowed to look good to men, it should always be secondary to looking good for yourself.  This is madness.  You are enhancing your outward appearance, which is great, but then you pretend it's for internal reasons?   

How would you like to live in a world where men had to wear make up?  "Oh, I love make up on a guy, especially eyeliner."  Of course you do, you're having a stroke.  Ask it this way: how would you like to be in a world where men said," oh, I feel so much better about myself when I'm wearing makeup."  You'd run for the nearest totalitarian regime.

The trick to the makeup debate is that it pretends to want to be free of male pressure, yet the pressure to look a certain way is actually much worse from women.  So this result is that a  "patriarchical", controlling force, unacceptable if coming directly from men, is maintained by giving the whip to other women.  No boss man would survive if he said, "ugh, you should put on some makeup, doll yourself up a little bit" but women say this to other women all the time-- especially at work.  "You look really tired," says a woman in MAC Greensmoke to another who isn't.  Just once I wish the reply would be, "I am, your husband kept me up all night."  Not very progressive, but hilarious. 

The evolution from "enhances sexual attractiveness" to "doing it for yourself" is definitely a regressive step, and by regressive I here mean "regressing to age two", but it's the next step which reveals the presence of a neurosis: recruiting science as a justification for behavior: "Study finds makeup makes you appear more competent."  Can't wait to read about that study in a Jonah Lehrer book.  Ugh.  So here's the evolution of feminist theory, take notes: "I want to look better" to "I want to feel better about myself" to "I want people to think I am better."  Madness. 

The further clue that the problem is not gender but... you... is that you find this pseudoscience while you are browsing the internet, i.e. it is your entertainment, your free time; your leisure time is spent justifying a behavior you can't not do.  "But I wasn't looking for those articles, I just stumbled on them."  Exactly.

The reason the makeup debate is insoluble is that it's not yours to solute. The choice to wear makeup is no choice at all, I know you think you came to it on your own but you live in America, you don't make free choices here, freedom is a brand.  Makeup is an $8B/yr industry, that's face makeup alone, no way is it going to allow you to make a choice that doesn't involve a credit card, fine, if you don't like makeup here's a remover for $30, just remember that you're not doing it for men, you're doing it for yourself. 


II.

I had used all the porn on the internet, so I turn on the TV, and there's a marionette called Diane Sawyer interviewing 20 female Senators, the most in history, applauding and giggling as if cold fusion had finally been discovered.  Of course it's a "good thing" that women are Senators in as much as not allowing them to be Senators is the bad thing, but other than that, what does it mean?  That women are finally brave enough to run, or America is brave enough to hire them?  It's not like the Capitol Building was turning them away, so why is this important?  I knew I was being scammed because I was being told this was a historic accomplishment by the ABC Network.  The ABC demo is not ever going to be a Senator, I would bet ten bazillion dollars they couldn't even name one of their Senators and a gazillion bazillion dollars they have no real idea what Senators do, so why is this on prime time ABC? 

I think the answer is supposed to be, "it's empowering to women", but you should wonder: when more women enter a field, it means less men did, and if the men stopped going there, where did they go?  Why did they leave?  I assume they aren't home with the kids, right?

I don't want to be cynical, but boy oh boy is it hard not to observe that at the very moment in our history when we have the most women in the Senate, Congress is perceived to be pathetic, bickering, easily manipulated and powerless, and I'll risk the blowback and say that those are all stereotypes of women.  Easy, HuffPo, I know it's not causal, I am saying the reverse: that if some field keeps the trappings of power but loses actual power, women enter it in droves and men abandon it like the Roanoke Colony.  Again we must ask the question: if power seeking men aren't running for Senate, where did they go?  Meanwhile all the lobbyists and Wall Street bankers are men, isn't that odd?  "Women aren't as corrupt or money hungry."  Yes, that's been my experience with women as well.

This works in reverse, too, take a field traditionally XX-only, like nursing, and, huh, what do you know-- at the time where nursing is more powerful than it has ever been, there are also more XY in it than ever.  But who made it more powerful?  It wasn't nurses.  And if you're playing that game, ask if the reason "sexy nurses" as a fetish dropped out somewhere around the 90s had nothing to do with females finally getting control over their sexualization but exactly the opposite, men came in and unsexualized the joint.  "I'm not gay."  Easy, Focker, no one was implying anything. 

I know to a woman it must feel good, "yay, I'm a Senator!" and I do not minimize the individual accomplishment of a woman becoming a Senator.  But for everyone else, what is the significance?  One of the Yay-Women senators suggested that the government would benefit from all the makeup because "women's styles tend to be more collaborative," and at the exact same moment she repeated the conventional wisdom's horrendous banality she simultaneously got married to the head of a lobbying firm.  That's progress, I guess.

The problem isn't with women in the Senate, but rather its celebration, which these dummies blindly participate in.  Is it putting on a face for the American public, the way the first face I see on Goldman Sachs's website is a black woman?   Is it cosmetic?  She's probably proud, she should be proud, that she made it to GS, but for the rest of blacks and women, what is the significance?  It may be regressive to ask this, but it is illuminating: "hey.... why did they let so many of us in?"
 
This is part of a larger, systemic problem with the way power has shifted not from Group A to Group B, but from ground up to top down, and top down works in a very specific way: it concedes the trappings of power while it retains the actual power.  




III.

In this case, you are seeing a shift of power be repackaged as a gender battle.  And it's quite apparent that power is a generation or so ahead of you, so in 1990 a 40 year old who grew up around successful lawyers then says to his 5 year old, "daughter, you should become a lawyer!" and she probably at one point collaborates to decry the lack of female role models, and then by the time she graduates law school she discovers she's a dime a dozen, power has been withdrawn, one step ahead; and at this rate I fully expect 2013's Aspirational 14% to nudge their 5 year old daughters towards investment banking so they can be part of the big Women In Investment Banking conference of 2033.  Don't bother, it'll be in Newark.

I can't predict the next field of power, I'm happy to hear your projections, the point for now is that while power moves ahead of you and your family, it leaves behind the appearance of a gender (or racial) struggle; and the immediate result of this is that people consider it a societal achievement that they are merely playing, even if what they are doing is ultimately meaningless.  So while women (appropriately) fought for, and got, equal access to college educations-- and now women even outnumber men in colleges-- today we find that college is irrelevant.  Huh.   NB: what women did not fight for, and this is to my point, is the specific power of being taken seriously without a college education. "But how will the world know we're equal?"

The focus here, again, is why did/do women fight so much for what became irrelevant?  Why does this happen all the time?  More specifically, did they pursue it because they thought it had power, or did they pursue it because it had the trappings of power?   I'm not being a jerk, it is a deadly serious question.  If some dentist fires his hygenist because she's too pretty the United States Of America goes to Defcon 1, but if Goldman Sachs doesn't hire enough women some idiot at The Atlantic writes a fluff piece.  "They apparently have a sexist culture there."  You know they rule the world, right? 

I know, I know, women get paid less then men.  Sigh.  There are a million reasons for this, but the most important is the simplest: some people want to get more money from the job, and some other people want the job to offer them more money, and they are not the same people.  Typically the former is men and the latter is women, but the point isn't gender but the mindset: the latter group wants the job to want to pay them more, they don't want to have to have any input in deciding their own reimbursement.  I have this conversation with women a lot, every time it goes exactly like this:


Her: They only offered me $X.
Me: Why didn't you ask for more? 
Her: I don't know... I was just happy to get the job.

And I throw up my hands, nothing I say will convince this senator to try harder for herself.  I have this same conversation with men as well, less frequently but not never, though the conversation is slightly different:

Him: They only offered me $X.
Me: Why didn't you ask for more? 
Him: I don't know... I was just happy to get the job. 
Me: What are you, a girl?


Works every time.




IV.

Everything you need to know about how the system sees you is expressed in its purest way in ads.  So, completely off topic, here's an ad, relax, this has nothing to do with guns:



bushmaster ad.jpg



I had never seen this ad, because the ad was not for me. The ad targets men who need a gun to feel like a real man, the gun validates their masculinity-- or so the ordinary, pseudo-feminist deconstruction would go.    Except that's not what the ad says.  It says, quite clearly, that the highest validator of masculinity isn't the gun, it is the card

You've been trained to look at these things in terms of gender, forget it, the pathology of the generation is narcissism, the ad knows about, and works only on, a society eyeballs deep in narcissism, that requires its identity broadcast by branded objects but validated by other people.  Because what this ad says, explicitly, is that owning the gun doesn't make you a man; when you own the gun, some other omnipotent entity will declare you a man. 

I'm not saying that gun owners need to show their guns off, I'm saying this ad assumes that.  There was a time where merely possessing the fetishized object was enough to self-identify ("I'm awesome, I'm having sex with a blonde"; "just having my 9mm inside my jacket makes me feel bad ass"), but this is no longer sufficient, it is no longer powerful enough to penetrate your thick skull, you have to be able to show it to someone else, to watch their eyes light up in recognition for you to know you have convinced them of who you are

Is it cosmetic?  Note the logic has evolved from "you'll feel better about yourself" to "other people will see you as more competent."

Forget about the gun/masculinity interaction, it is a red herring; the problem is the cycle of wanting outsiders to tell you who you are, which is why empty celebrity works just as well as accomplished celebrity, which is why you can't tell if Kanye West is downgrading to Kim Kardashian or she is downgrading to him.

But right on cue, the most deluded of women, not just a feminist but a self-proclaimed "feminist evangelist," showed up and completely missed the point, so she changed what was a clear example of the generational pathology of narcissism, and repackaged it as a gender issue:




valenti bushmaster.JPG



"We?"  As in, "we at Feministing?"

If you follow that the consumer unconsciously understands that his masculinity is approved from the outside, by other people, then Valenti is the very person that the ad is arguing against: "these bitches think you're not a man.  We at Busmaster tell you differently.  Who are you going to believe?"  Hell, I'lI believe a Sleestak before I listen to Jessica Valenti, really, those are my only two choices? The ad had no effect on me; her tweet makes me want to join a militia.

Note she doesn't really want to discuss it, she assumes it's self-explanatory, as if the very fact that masculinity and guns are related is itself bad, as if the solution was to uncouple the two.  But what would happen next?  The problem, as above, isn't the gun but the need for external validation, which means if you take the gun away something else must replace it, and it won't be what works for her, e.g. exposed brick and that great show Girls.  "It's great!"  It's horrendous. 

V.

To understand exactly why "feminism" or whatever Valenti thinks she has re-invented has not only stalled, but is damaging to all humanity, all you need to do is go to the source.  Totally at random, I went to Huffington Post Women.  Let's see what the feminists are up to, here are the top five articles:

1. The Reason The Academy Passed On Kathryn Bigelow (answer: sexism.)

2. Confessions Of A Mistress (protip: "Here's the wisdom I can offer to mistresses out there: do not get too attached.")

3. Why You Should Be Nervous-- And Yet Not-- About Sunday Night (since the Golden Globes conflict with Girls, just DVR Girls, and anyway Lena Dunham will be at the Globes.)

4. 'Girls' Star Talks Nudity And Season 2 (I refused to even click it)

5. Meet The Woman Who's Only Eating From Starbucks


Look, it's easy to make fun of these articles, my point isn't that sometimes women read nonsense.  The point here is that they are branded as for women, this is what the Huffington Post Women thinks of women, they suspect, apparently rightly, that women will respond better to these articles if they are told they are "For Women."

Here's a quote from #5, the woman who is eating Starbucks for a year:

So how can eating only one company's products impact me, anybody? Well Mr. McDonald's already proved that question years ago with his documentary and Mr. Subway did his take on the loosing weight portion of the food challenges too. But when I watched those guys doing their thing I asked myself "where are the WOMEN challenging themselves in the world?" "Where are the effects being shown on a woman's culture? A woman's family & children? A woman's diet, weight, fashion, checkbook, community and world through challenges?" "Where is HER VOICE on how an international company is directly or indirectly impacting everything from her waistline to her bottom line and every other woman's, man's, child's, societies and planets world with their presence?"


What's crazy about this crazy person is that she's crazy, if she did this in the name of her own psychopathology we could happily ignore her, but she's doing this for women, she's saying it's for women, when what you want to say is, "you know this makes people hate women, right?"  Mr. McDonalds didn't do it for men, or even as a man, he just did it, why do you have to drag the rest of the women into your delusions?

But this is the kind of solidarity popularized by Lori Gottlieb and the rest-- and I am asking, at what expense?  Sites like Jezebel and Feministing are much, much worse than pornography, every article they write sets women back a week, do the math, they do such a disservice to women because they take their narcissism and repackage it as gender issues, and you're locked into it.  What if I don't think gun control is a gender issue?  What if watching Girls makes me want to make a snuff film?  To use your impossible language, "where is my safe space to challenge your privilege?"

My point isn't that women don't have legitimate gripes with the system, or that there isn't sexism still around, my point is that most of what you think is "feminism" is really a work, a gimmick, a marketing scheme.  It is straight up consumerism, repackaged as a gender issue.  Case in point: season 1 and 2 of Girls.

And most importantly of all: if this is what women's solidarity is made of, how much support can they really expect from each other?  Is this solidarity power, or the trappings of power?  "Did you see Girls last night?"  No, I'm sorry, I was being raped.  "Oh, too bad.  It was a good one."


VI.

In Django Unchained, evil slaveowner Leonardo DiCaprio asks a question.  Sorry, back up: why does everyone call him an evil slaveowner?  As far as I can tell, he was a pretty average slaveowner, I'd even say he was "kind", in the sense that all his slaves "like" him, and he rarely "tortures" anyone and by the use of quotes you can see I'm hedging, my point here is how quickly people have to broadcast  their indignancy.  "He's evil."  So what you're saying is you're against slavery?  Thanks for clarifying.

This explains the near-universal anxiety over the movie's frequent use of the word nigger, and someone asked Tarantino if he thought he had used it too much in the movie, and his response was perfect: "too much, in comparison to how much it was used back then?"  Nigger, and the violence, was all anyone was upset about.  Terry Gross, NPR's mental Fleshlight, asked Tarantino her typically insightful and nuanced questions: "do you enjoy violent movies less after what happened at Sandy Hook?"  Sigh.  So there's the Terry Gross checklist for reviewing Django: gun=bad and saying nigger=bad.  Check and check.  You know what no one thought badworthy?  When the white guy asked to have a certain slave sent to his room to try out her ample vagina, and the prim white lady of the house happily escorted her up.  "Go on, do what you're told, girl."

I'd venture that Terry Gross and and the gang at HuffPoWo would rather be whipped than be-- that's rape, right?-- but that scene didn't light up their amygdalas, only hearing "nigger" did.  I find that highly suspicious, or astoundingly obtuse, or both.

Anyway, perfectly ordinary slaveowner DiCaprio asks a rhetorical question, a fundamental question, that has occurred to every 7th grade white boy and about 10% of 7th grade white girls, and the profound question he asked was: "Why don't they just rise up?"

Kneel down, Quentin Tarantino is a genius.  That question should properly come from the mouth of the German dentist: this isn't his country, he doesn't really have an instinctive feel for the system, so it's completely legitimate for a guy who doesn't know the score to ask this question, which is why 7th grade boys ask it; they themselves haven't yet felt the crushing weight of the system, so immediately you should ask, how early have girls been crushed that they don't think to ask this?   But Tarantino puts this question in the mouth of the power, it is spoken by the very lips of that system; because of course the reason they don't rise up is that he-- that system-- taught them not to.  When the system tells you what to do, you have no choice but to obey.

If "the system tells you what to do" doesn't seem very compelling, remember that the movie you are watching is Django UNCHAINED.   Why did Django rise up?  He went from whipped slave to stylish gunman in 15 minutes.  How come Django was so quickly freed not just from physical slavery, but from the 40 years of repeated psychological oppression that still keeps every other slave in self-check?  Did he swallow the Red Pill? How did he suddenly acquire the emotional courage to kill white people? 

"The dentist freed him."  So?  Lots of free blacks in the South, no uprisings.  "He's 'one in ten thousand'?"  Everybody is 1 in 10000, check a chart.  "He got a gun?"  Doesn't help, even today there are gun owners all over America who feel that they aren't free.  No.  You should read this next sentence, get yourself a drink, and consider your own slavery: the system told Django that he was allowed to.   He was given a document that said he was a bounty hunter, and as an agent of the system, he was allowed to kill white people.  That his new job happened to coincide with the trappings of power is 100% an accident, the system decided what he was worth and what he could do with his life.  His powers were on loan, he wasn't even a vassal, he was a tool.  

This is not to minimize the individual accomplishment of a Django becoming a free man.  But for the other slaves, what is the significance?

Of course Tarantino knew that the evil slaveowner's question has a hidden, repressed dark side:  DiCaprio is a third generation slave owner, he doesn't own slaves because he hates blacks, he owns them because that's the system; so powerful is that system that he spends his free time not on coke or hookers but on researching scientific justifications for the slavery-- trying to rationalize what he is doing.   That is not the behavior of a man at peace with himself, regardless of how much he thinks he likes white cake, it is the behavior of a man in conflict, who suspects he is not free; who realizes, somehow, that the fact that his job happens to coincide with the trappings of power is 100% an accident... do you see?   "Why don't they just rise up?" is revealed to be a symptom of the question that has been repressed: "why do the whites own slaves?  Why don't they just... stop?"  And it never occurs to 7th graders to ask this question because they are too young, yet every adult thinks if he lived back then, he would have been the exception.  1 in 10000, I guess.  And here we see how repression always leaves behind a signal of what's been repressed-- how else do you explain the modern need to add the qualifier "evil" to "slaveowner" if not for the deeply buried suspicion that, in fact, you would have been a slaveowner back then?  "But at least I wouldn't be evil."  Keep telling yourself that.  And if some guy in a Tardis showed up and asked, what's up with you and all the slaves, seems like a lot?  You'd say what everybody says, "look wildman, don't ask me, that's just the system.  Can't change it.  Want to rape a black chick?"



IV.

Speaking of no one being upset about rape, here's a story, starts out bad and gets even worse in ways you won't expect: a 16 year old girl is passed out drunk at a party, she is then allegedly raped by a/two high school football players, and carried unconscious to other parties and displayed and/or raped, and apparently because the town has a "football culture" no arrests are made, it's hushed up, the boys are protected, and I think to myself, oh, that's weird, is that town still in 1986?  True story: in 1986, at a mixer at the Delta Gamma sorority house, Lacoste Football Guy gets hard for 16 year old sister of Benetton Girl, and in order to get her jeans off he hits her in the head with a lamp, so in order to keep her jeans on she kicks him in the mouth, and through the blood and fury he's screaming he'll sue her, do you know who my father is?  NB: he went on to become a lawyer and no I am not making that up.

"Ugh, even now, 25 years later, it's still a hypermasculine rape culture."  Ha!  No.  Hypermasculine?  Where are you, the Dominican?  No, what's amazing/obvious is how after 25 years of Diane Sawyer and makeup debates, not one other girl at this party came to the victim's aid; not one girl saw what was happening at the party and simultaneously called 911 and Facetimed the crime; not one girl called all the women she knew and brought the wrath of Athena down on that town.  Nope.  Nothing.   A lot of laughing and giggling though, turns out rape is funny, someone owes Daniel Tosh a huge apology.  "Women's styles tend to be more collaborative."  I can tell, they collaborated to keep their mouth shut.  In 1986 the sorority girls also collaborated to blame the victim for for being so rough with Lacoste Guy:  "How could you do that to him?  His face is like, totally corroded."  Hey, come on, look how he was dressed, he was asking for it.  

"We need more women in power." Wrong preposition, dummy, but anyway you have them.  You have judges and prosecutors and twenty female senators, what has it gotten you?  Your own ground floor women don't protect each other, you know who had to come to this teen's aid?  Anonymous.  Men.
 
Of course I don't know if the boys really did these things or not, ok?  But if the reason the boys were protected was the "football culture," that means people in the town were taught to protect them.  And if the girls did nothing, it means they were taught to do nothing, and the people most responsible for that lesson was other women.

"No, the town was corrupt, they swept these kinds of things under the rug for years."  If you've known for years the town isn't going to help women, if you've known for years it's a "hypermasculine rape culture,"  wouldn't that make women want to stick together more?

It's not like these teen girls were denied an education or had to endure sexual harrassment at work or had to go to Sweden to get abortions, if there was ever a generation that should feel most empowered it would be them, yet they-- not just one of them; all of them-- "knew", somehow, that they could/should do nothing.  Which means that they were taught that from somewhere, and the only place that it could have come was older women.  "The other lesson is: makeup is a choice."  Today I learned nothing.

There's your female empowerment, there's you feminist progress, catastrophically subverted from the top down, like it's in an abusive relationship, satisfied with the house and the car and the 4/7 good days and simply doesn't want to rock the boat so it expends frantic energy on what is ultimately nonsense.   Every stupid parent teaches their girls not to get raped, duh, but have any mothers spent any time indoctrinating their daughters what to do if another woman is being raped?  Have they made it a reflex to defend, to attack?  "Isn't that obvious?"  Ask the town.  "We need to support each other!" sure, as long as it's from the safety of a computer monitor or a 5K, yay women.  Have you explicitly told your daughters that if a woman is passed out drunk and you see a Notre Dame Hat climbing over her couch, it is your responsibility to grab an aerosol can and a lighter and threaten Armageddon, or at the very least yell stop?    "Well, that's kind of dangerous."  Yeah, that's kind of the point, but I grant you that it's safer to giggle and let boys be boys.  Do you want power, or the trappings of power?  Somebody's going to have it, you can't make it vanish.  I wasn't at this particular rape, the town's defense amazingly appears to be she was a slut and she was asking for it, and my point is: so what?  Why didn't the other women stop it anyway?  Why didn't they just rise up?


http://twitter.com/thelastpsych








Comments

Test.... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 2:36 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Test.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -18 (62 votes cast)
I desperately want to share... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 2:43 AM | Posted by JawDropped: | Reply

I desperately want to share this article with everyone I know, but I know that not one of them will go to the trouble of reading it (and every one of them will judge it based on the title). So continues the status quo.

I think I'll share it anyways, but first,

I need a drink.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 251 (271 votes cast)
And now after you have read... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 2:47 AM | Posted by 720p?1080p!: | Reply

And now after you have read this and want to comment on how wrong all of it is, think of the news out of India in the past few weeks.

I think there have been 2 more bus rapes since then? How many more stories with no solutions whatsoever will we have to endure until the media interest dies down? Is Laura Logan already on the case?

"Porn is perverting young males" Yes, sure. Every answer counts as long as you don't actually have to look at yourself.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 61 (75 votes cast)
1. The next field of power ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 3:06 AM | Posted by Anonymous294: | Reply

1. The next field of power is software engineering, i.e. making human beings obsolete by automating everything they can do: create things, kill things, find things etc. It's also dominated almost entirely by men. There won't be a new field of power after that.

2. You seem to have a good enough understanding of the system to realize why publishing your thoughts is actually a very bad idea. So why do you still keep this blog open?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -21 (155 votes cast)
In other news, our black gu... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 3:36 AM | Posted by thestage: | Reply

In other news, our black guy obviously and easily won another four years. see, there's no racism.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 18 (74 votes cast)
The system is not afraid of... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 3:38 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous294's comment, by Or: | Reply

The system is not afraid of this blog at all. Big lies aren't threatened by truth, they're only threatened by more effective lies.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 141 (155 votes cast)
I'm pretty sure the point o... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 3:49 AM | Posted, in reply to JawDropped's comment, by thestage: | Reply

I'm pretty sure the point of this entire blog is that the status quo is going to go on no matter how many people you share this with. What changed for you when you realized the world was awful? Another drink? Great, come back next week, alcohol is a Xbillion dollar industry, etc., here comes the blog post.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 59 (73 votes cast)
I wonder what kind of stori... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 4:37 AM | Posted by Another Byte on the Web: | Reply

I wonder what kind of stories the people that watched the rape tell themselves, to the point that the passed out drunken girl being raped becomes seen as "asking for it", and that they couldn't do anything to stop it.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 50 (58 votes cast)
Nice job at sounding like a... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 4:38 AM | Posted, in reply to thestage's comment, by JawDropped: | Reply

Nice job at sounding like alone (I gave you a + for that). I actually just made that post as an experiment for my own amusement. Apparently talking about how much the world sucks and saying you want to drink yourself to an early grave get a lot of +1s. I don't drink and I never shared it (both because it won't matter and because he made a snuff porn joke...), but nice response. Respect.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -25 (55 votes cast)
I feel exactly the same. :(... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 4:52 AM | Posted, in reply to JawDropped's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I feel exactly the same. :(

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -10 (18 votes cast)
great article. I'm sure man... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:26 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

great article. I'm sure many people will not be able to read past the "nigger" (WHAT IS THIS RACISM? I OWE AN EXPLANATION!) and the "sexism". I bet someone will tell you your theories are wrong because they do not coincide with feminist theories, as that was enough of an explanation.

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I just want to thank you fo... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:26 AM | Posted by the apprentice: | Reply

I just want to thank you for letting us read this.

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"I'm pretty sure the point ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 8:20 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"I'm pretty sure the point of this entire blog is that the status quo is going to go on no matter how many people you share this with. What changed for you when you realized the world was awful? Another drink? Great, come back next week, alcohol is a Xbillion dollar industry, etc., here comes the blo…"

Yeah, and yet here you are, putting a great deal of time into this blog for some reason. So I'm going to go ahead and share it anyway, because it's a thing to do while waiting for economic collapse and I'm glad someone shared your blog with me. Fuck you.

I'm XX, and I wish more feminism sounded like this article instead of whining about how men aren't handing out enough power to women, as if that's how power worked. Thank you for sharing it.

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Yikes.Crazy powerful... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 8:48 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Yikes.
Crazy powerful article.

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Oh so many gems here. Fanta... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:04 AM | Posted by Misty: | Reply

Oh so many gems here. Fantastic post, lots of laughter covering the very insightful observations. Thanks for posting it.

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I'd like to urge people to ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:11 AM | Posted by Misty: | Reply

I'd like to urge people to consider donating even a dollar when they read such gems (anywhere in the blogosophere). I've gotten many hours of enjoyment out of reading this blog, and it's been well worth the paltry sum I've donated. (Hey, paltry is better than nothing, which is what we've grown accustomed to.)

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Brilliant post, thank you f... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:14 AM | Posted by twelve: | Reply

Brilliant post, thank you for it.

I don't think feminism as a philosophy is *necessarily* bankrupt, but what I've taken away from what you've written about it is that there is a failure on the movement's part to hold women (who are part of the "movement" and who are not) accountable. See: Girls, etc.

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I do not totally agree with... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:52 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I do not totally agree with TLP's hypothesis: that women are somehow brainwashed to be powerless. And, absent said social brainwashing, women would act more like men i.e. with independence and self-virtue.

Rather, I see in women an innate preoccupation with and loyalty to a smaller group i.e. family, clique, or personal ambition over a wider moral or civic duty to outside groups. Women seem more ready than men to rationalize, minimize, and willfully ignore some moral evil, i.e. rape or sexism, if it means protecting the group, their group. Call it the maternal instinct if you'd like, but it is part of women for better or for worse. Unchecked, it can lead to increased infighting and unfairness.

Perhaps a correlation may be drawn to the modern absence of social cohesion and civic virtue with more women occupying positions of power and influence, or TLP's "trappings of power."

The larger house is divided when the women's bathroom in the mezzanine level is at war with the women's bathroom on the third floor.

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i know i'm responding befor... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:56 AM | Posted by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

i know i'm responding before i read all the comments, but i'm a black woman and a feminist and i want to stand up and cheer for pretty much everything in this article.

not sure where this is in the chronology of people getting upset about your sarcasm, but it's pitch perfect here.

when i was 17-25 i wore no makeup, wore baggy clothes and didn't shave because that seemed right. i had never really done those things, besides shaving, because i was religious and didn't want boys looking at me with lust anyway. i was a hetero chick fronting a band and correctly surmised that every guy who thought they liked me did so because i was in a band. heheheh

but if nothing else, it gave some female fans a place to feel like they didn't have to do that stuff.

now, as a single mom, i do wear makeup and shave and wear clothes that fit. it's totally to attract men. it also makes the people for whom i am their token black friend nervous. hehehe.

i know it's evil to think it's funny when someone who thought i was their sidekick sees me in jeans and a shirt that fit and with some mascara on and visibly begins to sweat and look for the exit.

i'm laughing right now. you see women be catty with each other, but until you get in the ring, you never catch any blows. or throw any. in a way, this makes me part of something horrible. in a way, this helps me to get laid.

i justify it by knowing i would never date a man who didn't shave or who was morbidly obese, so why shouldn't i shave and wear makeup. i *want* to attract men. i want the societal benefits of being attractive. i want to put off competitive women. it just works for me.

i do think it's important to have women and black people and gay people in government or any positions of power, even when they are unwittingly supporting the structures that can oppress them. i think these things change over time. at least in my lifetime they seem to be changing for the better, just slow as christmas.

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Thank you so much for posti... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:31 AM | Posted by Adellina: | Reply

Thank you so much for posting this... =)

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I think you mean, you need ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:38 AM | Posted, in reply to JawDropped's comment, by Stoner: | Reply

I think you mean, you need a toke. Smoke that weed all day, everyday!!!

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Feminism doesn't want to gi... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:42 AM | Posted by priviledge: | Reply

Feminism doesn't want to give up female priviledge. What is female priveledge? Mostly its "freedom from." Freedom from responsibility. Freedom from moral agency. Freedom from the worst outcomes in life. There is a floor under women, that's where the cieling comes from.

If you want to get rid of the cieling you've got to change who you are. That often means taking on the kinds of responsibilities and risks that men have accepted to gain their own priviledges. Feminism has only ever played around the margins. It takes its digs where it can, but ultimately it doesn't want to lose its female priviledges. Nothing risked, nothing gained. Input evolutionary psychology reasoning here.

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I don't think that's what's... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:52 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I don't think that's what's being said. What I think is happening is that essentially, we only open the doors to "power" after the power leaves. In the 1950's when Government was relevent, no one would have dreamed of trusting a woman or a black man with "leadership of the free world" -- that only happened after the power had shifted away from government in the late 1980's or so, when the power to unilaterally run the world shifted to banks and megacorps. Now, since congress and the president can do little beyond reshuffle the money that isn't offshored or tax-sheltered, it's OK for blacks and women to do those jobs.

It's pretty much the way it's always been. Teachers were male when education was high powered -- back in the middle ages or whatever, no one would have dreamed of a woman teaching. Women were nurses until health care became an in demand field, which is about when men discovered that they like wiping asses. Women are taking over retail to a degree, especially middle management because it's not something that you could do much with.

It's not about "women don't like power" so much as "people don't trust women with power". It sounds the same, and the practical results are the same, but it's different. Unless you own the business, there are gatekeepers. In the case of the Senate, we have elections, in the case of businesses, there are job interviews. And for whatever reason, people don't want women to run things that matter. Consider the reconstruction era -- we had black senators back then, what did we do but make that illegal as soon as we could? Why? Because congress, back then, mattered. So we couldn't let blacks into congress.

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What makes you think Anonym... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:54 AM | Posted by Iliana: | Reply

What makes you think Anonymous are men??? There are a lot of women among them, please watch "We Are Legion". Otherwise a fine article!

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Woh, this made me realize t... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:56 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Misty: | Reply

Woh, this made me realize that pastors are now becoming female in more and more branches of organized religion...

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Women wear makeup for two r... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:05 AM | Posted by Stacy: | Reply

Women wear makeup for two reasons only - power and competition. I should really say power through competition. Makeup and everything we do to enhance our looks is about accumulating power and competing with other women and obtaining power over men. Makeup is a weapon in our arsenal that we may or may not utilize. For the most part we aren't even all that interested in having sex most of the time - we just want the option. We want men to want to have sex with us and do stuff for us. We want other women to know that we can have sex with men and get them to do stuff for us. Score, bitches. Women's appreciation for this competition and this type of power is usually directly proportional to their ability to successfully compete. There are exceptions-but few.

Most women who don't wear makeup have opted out of the competition. Some because they were never going to win under any circumstance and taking the high ground of anti-superficiality strokes their ego. Others aren't out of the competition they just don't need that particular weapon to compete. They have other significant assets that compensate.

Women obtain power and compete in other ways, of course. But sexual attraction is embedded in our DNA and that’s why you’ll find older women – long past the need to sexually attract- who still do themselves up. See, I’m still a player. They’re equivalent to an old athlete no longer competing who still shows up to games dressed in his track suit. Its signals that we are or once were – players.

Lastly, to those with great power comes great responsibility, as Spiderman would say.

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stacy, you're right on. i d... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:16 AM | Posted by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

stacy, you're right on. i do like to look at pretty shit, and makeup makes some people prettier. some people i don't want to get on, who i just like to look at.

i definitely wear makeup for male attention and to take advantage of the privileges it affords me.

i also point out that i'm NOT pretty enough to have an easy way in this world in terms of sex or anything else in baggy clothes, and unshaved and with no makeup.

that is a fact.

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Gods be good, your articles... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:21 AM | Posted by Sam : | Reply

Gods be good, your articles have been a light in the vast ocean that is the sea of information. Your article on "Hipsters on Food Stamps" and this one have been the best articles I've read in 2012-2013. This is the shit I look for when I parse the news, this is what I look for when I want meaningful philosophy. Your articles at times reads as a combination of Hunter S Thompson, Julia Kristeva and Gary Trudeau. The way you explained the way the system shifts the balance of power around like a game of monkey in the middle sounded like something my favorite teacher would have said. I have so much to say about how much I loved your articles so I'll just conclude with thank you, thank you so much for writing and please don't ever stop

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You're wrong about "Girls."... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:35 AM | Posted by Scott: | Reply

You're wrong about "Girls." It actually satirizes, and then humanizes, the narcissists that make up New York women in their early 20's. There's a real journey in this show from total abject narcissism to real attempts to connect and learn how to be in relationship.

The phrase I came up with was, if you don't think "Girls" is funny, they're making fun of you.

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'Busmaster' - great typo, o... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:40 AM | Posted by Ted Belmont: | Reply

'Busmaster' - great typo, or greatest typo?

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Narcissism or neediness? O... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:41 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Narcissism or neediness? Or are they at root the same thing, self?

>>>When the system tells you what to do, you have no choice but to obey.

But disobedience is still being framed *by the system.*

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Rather, I see in w... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Rather, I see in women an innate preoccupation with and loyalty to a smaller group i.e. family, clique, or personal ambition over a wider moral or civic duty to outside groups [etc]
Although I agree with you here, how can we say for certain that this is an inherent characteristic of women vs. how they are raised by their society?
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i don't think girls is funn... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:49 AM | Posted by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

i don't think girls is funny, and i know they're making fun of me. girls like that have made fun of me my whole life. maybe i'd be cooler if i could get with the layered nuanced irony of how it's actually a sincere journey...i just think it's stuck up rich white girls being assholes. which is what i thought in school. they're mean people. they're shallow people. their lives are meaningless.

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"Why don't they ju... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:59 AM | Posted by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

"Why don't they just rise up?" ... "Why don't they just rise up?" is revealed to be a symptom of the question that has been repressed: "why do the whites own slaves? Why don't they just... stop?"

Two questions, one of them challenging reality. (Both of them actually. I would not have bothered to ask the first one either.)

I understand that the answer probably lays somewhere between escaping your context and drawing, but ever since the last post I've been wondering: "how does one find question that challenge reality?"

But I suspect actions determines experience, which informs context, hence...

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What? No comments on the sc... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:13 PM | Posted by Croatoan: | Reply

What? No comments on the scribbled "CROATOAN" on the image at the top of the article? I'm disappointed TLP clones.

We are heading into the sewers and you don't notice the crudely written signal?
; )

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If you think Jamie Dimon or... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by horn: | Reply

If you think Jamie Dimon or Howard Schulz or Indra Nooyi have more power than the POTUS, Reid, or Bernanke you are simply batshit crazy.

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Believe in some kind of pro... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Shamsi Ruhe's comment, by NoxBunny: | Reply

Believe in some kind of progress of humanity is a kind of religion, it isn't?

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Fans of 'Repent, Harlequin!... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:33 PM | Posted, in reply to Croatoan's comment, by horn: | Reply

Fans of 'Repent, Harlequin! said the Ticktockman' didn't want to spoil it for the n00bs.

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From Wiki: the word "Croato... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:36 PM | Posted, in reply to Croatoan's comment, by Stacy: | Reply

From Wiki: the word "Croatoan" carved into a tree on Roanoke Island at the site of the Lost Colony in 1590

Lost Colony=lost civilization

I get it, I think.

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The short story is about ta... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:38 PM | Posted, in reply to Stacy's comment, by Misty: | Reply

The short story is about taking personal responsibility (again according to Wiki), so that is applicable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatoan_(Ellison)

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Obama, Reid, and Bernanke ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:47 PM | Posted, in reply to horn's comment, by Stacy: | Reply

Obama, Reid, and Bernanke are men.

Have we had a female president, senate majority leader, or Fed chief?

Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, right? Obviously, TLP is wrong about women not really being in positions of the highest power because we all know how incredibly powerful the House is, right?

Want to know why we have so many czars and special envoys in government? Because cabinet positions in the executive branch are powerless and ceremonial. Do we and have we had women in cabinet positions? Yes, many. How many women have been czars or special envoys? None.

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Ugh for fucking once it wou... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 12:58 PM | Posted by Make up for ever: | Reply

Ugh for fucking once it would be nice to read a TLP post where Alone isn't a total superior, judgmental healthier-than-thou hypocrite. This level of judgment and critique is just a gleaming example of his own unchecked narcissism. It would be an added bonus if, for once, Alone looked in the mirror himself and admitted that he, too, is just as guilty as the rest of us.

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i don't accept the guilt, b... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 1:01 PM | Posted by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

i don't accept the guilt, but i like the point of view, snarky style, and occasionally original thinking. obviously (to me) some of these rantings are of the armchair variety and have not been taken to the street. not always tempered with compassion or the ability to see other parts of issues.

"everyone sucks and is stupid. i win." that's one approach. still, he says some awesome shit and has an interesting turn of mind, even if some of the motivations are colored by self-hatred.

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This is a response not to t... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 2:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Yuliya: | Reply

This is a response not to the article but to some of the commentators who have been only too happy to take the meaning of the article and twist it around.

It's very easy to sit in a position of power and blame victims of discrimination for not doing enough. If women want more power they should act more like men, if coloured people want more power they should act more white and if poor people want a better life they should just get a job like the rest of us. Right? isn't that essentially what some of you are saying?

You act as though upbringing and a history of systematic oppression has no effect on a person. Women are taught from an early age that power isn't becoming of a woman. We're taught that men like women who are kind not women who are successful. If you don't believe me, look at how often popular culture paints women in power as evil witches and temptresses, and generally horrible human beings. What is shown to be important to woman? Friendship and family. Give up your dreams and your ambitions because love is more important than anything.

The chains aren't visible but they're there. We're all trapped by our mental conditioning even if we appear free. Positive change is possible and it's happening but we need to stop acting like people can just change their circumstances without any sort of help.

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Asking why slaves didn't ri... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 2:25 PM | Posted by Spectacular Views: | Reply

Asking why slaves didn't rise up is like asking why prisoners don't. They outnumber the guards, after all. So are they just mentally conditioned by the system to sit tight? Or are they deterred by the metal bars, armed guards, security systems, chained gates, and x billion humans willing to act as watchdogs?

Lots of amazing insight here as usual, but maybe don't use slavery as an example in your next "the problem is you" exposé.

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So, I don't understand. Wh... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 2:37 PM | Posted by I Don't Get It: | Reply

So, I don't understand. What is the separation between the trappings of power and power itself? How is it defined?

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I'm pretty sure that one of... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 2:41 PM | Posted by crumbskull: | Reply

I'm pretty sure that one of the major sub-texts and in-jokes of Alone's posts are that he is just as big a piece of shit as the rest of us and works in an industry he repeatedly points to as being a major element of the problem he is trying to elucidate.

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Sorry about your childhood.... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 3:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Shamsi Ruhe's comment, by Scott: | Reply

Sorry about your childhood. I think you may be confusing your inferiority complex with someone else's narcissism, and I can't really help you with that.

On the plus side, you can (if you like) take some solace in the fact that the people who make the show "Girls" probably identify more with you than you would believe.

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i don't feel inferior. than... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 3:24 PM | Posted, in reply to Scott's comment, by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

i don't feel inferior. thank you for your compassion. i honestly have enough self obsessed rich white girls in my life. i love them, but their problems are boring and bullshit and of their own creation. i get enough entertainment from them, but it's pretty much just sad. gotta laugh or cry.

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I have to ask: Is there any... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 3:56 PM | Posted by VA: | Reply

I have to ask: Is there anything we can do to stop the gears of the machine? Or are we only limited to ourselves and should focus on improving ourselves in every way possible?

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Stacy,Another way ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 4:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Stacy's comment, by Ed S.: | Reply

Stacy,

Another way to look at it is this (and "I don't get it" -- a response that applies to your question):

Have power today (and have always had it):
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense

Used to have power (now only have the trappings of power):
Secretary of State
UN Ambassador

Can't speak to the Speaker of the House; I'm not a Washington wonk -- but Speaker today seems more like chief cat herder (with the post-Watergate breakdown in party strength, individuals don't have to be particularly loyal to the "party" and once elected, representatives are almost never contested by another party member).

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When was the last time that... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 4:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Stacy's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

When was the last time that it fecking mattered who was speaker of the house or senate. Forget the titles, they don't mean anything. Boener is Republican Majority Leader, he can't even get Republicans to agree to live by a pledge that he didn't even write. Speakers are figureheads, which is why the gatekeepers are letting women have the role. If you ever see a real woman able to make even minor changes to "the Matrix" let me know. Speakers, Majority and Minority leaders in the congress have no more real power than the leader of the local Phi Kappa Delta on a 3rd tier college campus.

I don't say that to be snarky or to be down on Ms. Pelosi, but just pointing out that she's mostly a figurehead. If you want power, you don't look to the people still following the "Robert's Rules of Order" book on CSPAN. They don't have much power, the real power is outside of government, or working for people who fund the election of the puppets in Congress. If you want power, you want Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Scottrade, not Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam works for the banks and the corporations to a large degree. We're an oligarchy, and we've been so for a long time.

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I don't know that I agree t... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:05 PM | Posted, in reply to priviledge's comment, by GOTO10: | Reply

I don't know that I agree this is how the world works, but I think you just expertly explained what happened in the Walking Dead writer's heads when Andrea took a level in badass in season 2.

Totally applicable to this article.

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The lack of discussion of H... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Stacy's comment, by GOTO10: | Reply

The lack of discussion of Hillary Clinton is noteworthy. Secretary of State is real power.

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you are stupid... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:25 PM | Posted, in reply to Make up for ever's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you are stupid

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To put it in perspective of... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:29 PM | Posted by mackyb: | Reply

To put it in perspective of how men are trapped in the same mode of thinking, consider the fact that the reason 2 dudes will get into a fistfight is not because they actually hate each other, but because they don't want everyone else at the party to think they're a little bitch.

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So, to assuage your guilt a... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:34 PM | Posted, in reply to JawDropped's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

So, to assuage your guilt about doing nothing, you tell a bunch of anonymous people that even if you did something it wouldn't work?

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Is the TLP a man or a woman... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:48 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Is the TLP a man or a woman or multiple people? Obviously the person who wrote this article is a guy but in a few of the other articles I thought a woman was writing.

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You must be new. I believe ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 5:56 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You must be new. I believe the unofficial consensus is that TLP is male, in his early 40s, and married with a young, school-age daughter. Watch the downvotes roll in.

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While agreeing that our cul... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:16 PM | Posted by SusanC: | Reply

While agreeing that our culture's expectations of women are a bit unreasonable, I worry somewhat that this line of argument would dismiss most of human culture as narcissism. (Maybe it is; but then naricissism is a pretty fundamental characteristic of our species, and telling people to stop doing it is unlikely to be effective). Why, for example, do we bother wearing clothes when it isn't cold? There's some element of social signalling there, probably.

As well as direct sexual signalling - advertising your attractivness to someone who is present and that you're interested in - there's second order signalling: indicating (to competitors etc.), that you are the kind of person that someone else would find attractive, if they were present.

With a nod to Baudrillard (Simulation and simulacra), this is the kind of the system that can completely run away and take on a self-referential life of its own.

And I'd guess there's more than simply sex being signalled (wealth, social class) etc. etc.

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Seems to be a lot of victim... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Yuliya's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Seems to be a lot of victim blaming goin' round these parts.

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Fun article. Lots of good p... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:27 PM | Posted by Alasdair: | Reply

Fun article. Lots of good points, lots of silly bullshit (e.g. 'power-seeking men aren't running for Senate', really?), but overall an entertaining read.

(To the comments above - I assumed while I was reading this the author was a woman. But it doesn't really make much difference to the arguments either way.)

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Thanks for writing this art... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:30 PM | Posted by Lily: | Reply

Thanks for writing this article. It was very useful.

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That's what I've been wonde... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:31 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by amondstien: | Reply

That's what I've been wondering.

Also, croatoan is in reference to this line: "Easy, HuffPo, I know it's not causal, I am saying the reverse: that if some field keeps the trappings of power but loses actual power, women enter it in droves and men abandon it like the Roanoke Colony."

Hadn't yet seen anyone answer that earlier challenge.

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To the extremely angry pers... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:38 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

To the extremely angry person who wrote this post:

The Congress with the Most Women has not been seated yet. All the polls and ire are about the last Congress. Can you even name a time since its inception, when people didn't think all these things of Congress? I realize it's a list of feminine traits to your thinking.

You use the example of a woman lawyer raising her daughter to be a lawyer to empower her, and complain that having a whole generation of women lawyers takes the power away from it. How is that so? The power shouldn't be simply that she's the rare woman who is a lawyer, but that she's in a field where her talents, if she has any, can shine.

It's hard to read this entire post, not because it's long, but because it's so vicious toward women. And because you don't get your facts right. You misread a great deal of what happened in Steubenville,for example; although you got the most-googled parts right. Why not do a little research before you use an event to browbeat your audience? It'll make more sense that way.

I'm not sure why you want to call yourself a psychiatrist, even humorously. It creates a false frame of reference for the reader, and expectations you can't deliver on. There's no such thing as neurosis any more, for example. And you're not very good at diagnosis, particularly of narcissism. I'd like it if you were a little more adept at this sort of analysis. I'm going to guess though that there's some projecting going on when you call essentially everyone narcissistic, but my biggest question is, why do you hate women? It's in every word you write. I feel like I'm being slapped around, which makes it hard to imagine what your real points are.

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The phrase I came up wit... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:39 PM | Posted, in reply to Scott's comment, by Classicist: | Reply

The phrase I came up with was, if you don't think "Girls" is funny, they're making fun of you.

This is bogus. I can't stand programs like Girls that wield ironic detachment like a shield. I don't deny that there are satirical elements to the show, but satire still needs to be good to warrant praise.

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No, sorry, The Secretary of... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:41 PM | Posted, in reply to GOTO10's comment, by Stacy: | Reply

No, sorry, The Secretary of State became a public relations position under Bill Clinton. James Baker was our last real Sec. of State. HC is just a PR hack.

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Interesting read, particula... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:49 PM | Posted by Alathon: | Reply

Interesting read, particularly the segments on where men go to take power (lol I know, but that's how I read it). I'm an affluent man in his thirties, and having hit the goals I set myself as a young adult I've been puzzling out what I do next. I've considered getting involved with the Democratic party at a local level, to feel out if it is a setting I can succeed within. I've also considered focusing on getting as rich as I can and working politically from that position in ten or fifteen years. My gut feeling has been that the latter makes more sense.

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Let me offer a co... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:52 PM | Posted by SusanC: | Reply

Let me offer a contrary position, unpalatable but worth considering: the only appropriate time to wear make up is to look attractive to men.

Here, Alone is being a bit narcissistic, because it tries to make male heterosexual desire the "reality" on which the whole system is grounded. i.e. it's all about him, or guys like him.

Possible alternatives include lesbian desire (which fair enough, he mentions next, though you might want to extend it to include unconsumated lesbian desire); "grounded in nothing at all" (cf. Baudrillard's sucessive phases of the image: "it has no relation to any reality whatsoever"); and non-sexual signalling of relative status, social role, etc.

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I think the sales of books ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 6:57 PM | Posted by Dee: | Reply

I think the sales of books like Twilight and the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy indicate a lot about 21st century feminism. The Valentis of this world are more concerned about the word nigger than the normalisation of psychosexual manipulation. In short they think that being fisted by a sadistic psychopath is normal and revolutionary, and the approximation of dialogue or words is immoral. If women were called out on their own rape fantasies and fantasies of sexual manipulation they'd froth at the mouth. To be frank, I am an angry woman. When I see these pseuds calling themselves feminists I want to slap them, but they'd still harp on about their misguided amalgamation of feminism.

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I see where you're coming f... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 7:15 PM | Posted, in reply to SusanC's comment, by GOTO10: | Reply

I see where you're coming from, but I don't agree that alone is coming from a heterosexual premise.

His main point in this section is that the "makeup is for me" defense is narcissistic delusion, and that the real goal of makeup is sexual attraction (and that's ok). The sexual orientation of the quote is ancillary in my eyes.

I see the quote as either rhetorically scoring points by shocking you with an extreme counter to a previous point, at best. Or just lazy writing, at worst.

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Seems pretty obvious to me ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 8:25 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Seems pretty obvious to me from close reading that Alone is actually a woman. And I could be wrong, but I suspect she's the 16 y.o. almost-rape victim from 1986 mentioned in the post.

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Next big sector of power is... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 8:31 PM | Posted by caterpillar: | Reply

Next big sector of power is agriculture.

There are no women in agriculture because it's a yucky frontier type business.

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I'd love to see the author'... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 8:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Yndrd1984: | Reply

I'd love to see the author's reply to this, but I think giving more than one perspective on this may be useful (even if only so others may correct my errors).

"The Congress with the Most Women has not been seated yet. All the polls and ire are about the last Congress."

Exactly. And the author is suggesting a causal relationship: Congress is seen as ineffective, so more women are allowed into it and/or men have started using other means to gain power.

"You use the example of a woman lawyer raising her daughter to be a lawyer to empower her, and complain that having a whole generation of women lawyers takes the power away from it. How is that so?"

When the parent became a lawyer it was an automatic path to success - just being admitted to the bar meant financial independence, an array of career choices, and "doctor-level" respect. When the daughter graduates, she's saddled with student debt, is somewhat likely to end up doing paralegal work or making copies for the only firm that will hire her, and will be treated with "general studies-level" respect.

"why do you hate women? It's in every word you write."

The author doesn't hate women. The article isn't even really about women. The only thing it does is use women (and slaves) as examples of the difference between apparent power and actual power:

"I'm free!" But only because they let me go.
"I'm a Senator!" But I obey the lobbyists and party bosses.

vs

"I can end free myself over their objections."
"I can change the law how I want."

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this is what solidarity mea... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:28 PM | Posted by Anonym: | Reply

this is what solidarity means to women in India

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151105452381347&set=a.447933696346.242216.74156301346&type=1&theater

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People who are calling Alon... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:33 PM | Posted by Matt: | Reply

People who are calling Alone a misogynist should remember this part of the article:

" "Why don't they just rise up?" is revealed to be a symptom of the question that has been repressed: "why do the whites own slaves? Why don't they just... stop?" "

The flipside to the question "Why don't women empower themselves?" is the question "Why do men continute to oppress women?"

The answer is that The System of male power sustains itself. It never enters men's heads to relinquish their power, in the same way that it never enters women's heads to grasp REAL power.

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Speaking of powerful: this ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 9:45 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Speaking of powerful: this article was more than worth the wait. Alone, how do you penetrate so incisively into the water in which we fish swim? And not just with one topic, but several, before weaving them into a larger tapestry of insight? I am in awe.

I'll be mulling this one over for weeks to come...

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I don't wear make up and I ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:29 PM | Posted by Rain: | Reply

I don't wear make up and I never have. I can't tell you why, and whys don't matter, we know that. The thing is, I was raised Mormon and lived a lot of my life in Utah and no question I was pressured to fit in. I still didn't. I made some brief volleys that direction, and just didn't. Never cared enough to make a habit of it. Never really wanted to attract men. Maybe we can say, or pretend it's so calculated and reasoned as this, it's because men lead to marriage and marriage leads to children and to that ingrained patriarchal order that is never so overtly oppressive as people want to think Mormonism is, but still ever-present enough that I don't know what to think about the Mormon feminist movement. The church is built on these mores. It's entirely built on the necessity of having families with quite a few children if you can handle it and on women having certain roles and men having certain roles. Maybe we get more authority and a wider variety of clothing/appearances to try on, but is it even possible to change the system? I mean, really change it. I mean, women being right up there at the head, and family roles being more independent of gender -- I mean, is that even the church anymore? Would most women want that? Changing even a smaller culture like a church with, whatever we have now, 12 million members, is Sisyphean, and we're talking core parts of culture. Core. Sure, we'll get a little news attention now and then. Because of pants. Or because, shockingly, a woman who is no longer young and did not get a man, as many Mormon women do not, is uninterested in staying celibate all her life. This is not to say that the Mormon church is deaf to all this. They will continually tell women that it isn't their fault that they don't get married, just as they will now (at least sometimes) tell homosexuals that being gay is not their fault. You just wait. You find other things to do and you wait and you wait and the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Some eternal someone will make it better at the last.

It isn't that it's difficult to be Mormon in name while your heart is elsewhere. It's nice to have a community that meets together weekly. It's nice to have all that focus on being nice and serving others. You can be a little benignly different and, honestly, people won't write you up for it. No, fellows, the worst that will happen to you for not wearing make-up is this: people (primarily women) will assume that you have a tragic wound to your self-esteem. They will assume you don't like yourself. I mean, obviously, you can't possibly. We know what the map for liking yourself looks like.

I don't honestly think the Mormon culture is all that different from American culture as a whole.

Call it a microcosm. Mormonism is a distinctly American religion, after all. What are you going to do, change the culture? How are you going to do that? Yes, absolutely, you should go save that girl that's being raped. Absolutely. I love concrete things like that. It's the equivalent of going out and slaying the dragon everyone's terrified, how awesome, how heroic. But, of course, the problem is always the same. Being different in even incredibly minor ways is cause for judgment, and judgment is scary, and judgment leaves you alone, and how many ways we continue to justify not acting. I don't see any girl being raped right this minute, you know, where I can do something about it, so I'll wait. I'll wait for the opportunity. It'll come. It's at hand.

I'm pretty smart in a conventional way. I work hard. I'm the same age as those hipsters everyone's talking about, and my degrees are just as useless, but I get by in unglamorous, but progressively more responsible jobs. I get along with people. If life was somehow magically judged on a pass/fail, I'd probably do fine.

I hate just passing. I hate that I want to be a man so I don't have to be aware of this lens, this woman lens that I don't want, and never have wanted. And that isn't an expression of being transgender, that's an expression of my own kind of misogynistic cowardice. My "who on earth would want to be a woman?" I had an extremely talented friend who said there was no point in being a female composer, because you're always a woman first. Everything you do will be judged through that lens, she says. I thought, no, you can't conclude that. We can't conclude that, or we're lost. We're all lost.

And here I am, trying to run again. I know that a big reason women are paid less is because they'll accept less, I know it, and I still won't negotiate my salary, because I'm just happy I have a job. I know so much misogyny is from women, so much of systemic standards for what a woman is (instead of just herself) comes from women, and my strategy for being hemmed is to withdraw, to run, to write castigating satirical novels -- well, no, I'm still here self-censoring. Even in a private corner on a private computer, writing about fictitious people. Look, I'm not wearing make-up, I'm doing my part, okay? Except, when it comes down to it, those well-meaning, judging women are right when they figure I got some self-esteem wound. I do hate myself a little. And the path is open to me. Or is it? Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy. Just slap on some mascara and everything will be better. The kingdom of God is at hand, just wait. Just wait and the reason for the system will become clear.

Yeah, I know why we don't rise up. It's so hard to be brave. What are you going to do, change the culture? How arrogant of you. How supremely selfish. What do I know, anyway? What if I'm wrong? What if I'm an aberration? What if the system is right? What if we'd all be better off if I kept my mouth shut and passed.

But I have to learn to be brave. I have dozens of excuses for why I'm not. But they don't do me any good.

I'm sorry this is so long.

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"The flipside to the questi... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Matt's comment, by Yndrd1984: | Reply

"The flipside to the question "Why don't women empower themselves?" is the question "Why do men continute to oppress women?""

Except that those questions should be reversed. Our society is constantly pointing to "the old boy's club", "male chauvinist pigs", sexism, and now "rape culture" to explain the gender power discrepancy in our society. What useful advice do we give women? Not much. What do we expect from them? That's what I thought.

Look at rape as an example. Ads all over the place about how "men can stop rape" and the President admonishes men to help if they see a woman in trouble. But even mentioning ways a woman can protect herself will get someone labeled a "victim-blaming misogynist", and forget pointing out how stupid it is to get blackout drunk with people you don't know or wander the bad side of town at 3 AM.

Now look at the subtext - men choose to rape or not, to intervene or not, in both cases they decide and act - and women are completely passive, with no choices that carry moral weight or responsibility.

Even in strongly 'feminist' messages women simply don't have agency, and then we wonder why they don't reach for power but only ask to have it given to them.

"It never enters men's heads to relinquish their power, in the same way that it never enters women's heads to grasp REAL power."

The problem with that statement is that actual power can't be relinquished or given or shared, only fought for. If 'power' is merely granted then it's not the real thing.

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That is an amazing article.... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:45 PM | Posted by Ben: | Reply

That is an amazing article.

I'm donating some money, and encourage anyone else who has found value here to pay for it to happen again and more.

Alone, if you wrote a book about raising strong daughters, I would buy it for thousands (of dollars & people).

Ben

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Thank you... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 10:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you

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I'm so pleased to find yet ... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:20 PM | Posted by Lilin: | Reply

I'm so pleased to find yet another article about how it's women's fault that women get raped. That's original thinking, right there.

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This comes at such a strang... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:21 PM | Posted by Remy: | Reply

This comes at such a strange moment in my life. Lately, I've been feeling so happy as myself, a woman. But then, maybe it is because I haven't been a person of agency lately. I've been dutifully putting on makeup and not just to attract men and to be sexually attractive so to speak.

What I am saying is...there is a lot of comfort in the status quo. The status quo can as they feel. It is its own blind freedom. But any woman who really wants to buck the system has to spend some time like the old-time suffragette. No one wants to do that.

That might include me.

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...should read, "The status... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:23 PM | Posted by Remy: | Reply

...should read, "The status quo can do as they feel."

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I disagree. I don'... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous294's comment, by J: | Reply

I disagree.

I don't think social power can come from an ability to escape the real world, on a solo adventure inside the logic of your mind.

I am a software dev - The reason why it's full of men is revealing for a different reason. If the men-of-power on wall street are the epitome of man culture then software devs are the anti-man culture.

They're the scared boys who could never accept turning into rape-men and their response is to flee. Thankfully there was a semantic, completely-abstract, completely defined system to flee to.

No judgement, no power. In-fact, the central tenant of OOP is a lesson in restricting yourself as much as possible (encapsulation).

There's nowhere in programming where you didn't have enough courage to help a girl from getting raped. No girls either; more importantly - no rape-men.

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Croatoan is an ailment spec... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:34 PM | Posted, in reply to Croatoan's comment, by david: | Reply

Croatoan is an ailment specifically described as "blood-borne virus" that is demonic in origin, and causes a murderous rage in the people it infects.

Azazel field tests the virus in River Grove, Oregon in 2006. It proves effective in causing the townspeople to kill each other, and importantly proves that Sam Winchester is immune to its effects.

Following his release, Lucifer intends to use this virus to produce chaos and massacre on Earth during the Apocalypse. The virus is to be distributed by Niveus Pharmaceuticals in a vaccine that is being used against a swineflu endemic caused by Pestilence. The plan is averted when Sam and Bobby destroy the warehouse where the vaccine is stored.

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thank you.i need a... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:44 PM | Posted by Janus: | Reply

thank you.

i need a drink right now.

i mean, fuck you.

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I've been reading for a whi... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by J: | Reply

I've been reading for a while and have to wonder. My current feeling is it's a woman, but the mentions are so obvious that they may just be purposeful mis-direction. (That ad. not being targeted at TLP, also mentioning of wanting to grow up to be a playboy girl in a prev. post)

The main ambiguity is with TLP's writing style. It's incredibly aggressive and full of power - which while reading makes me think they're male.

I'd say nearly for sure though that it's one person, just cause the style is so specific.

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whoa. seriously. dude. heav... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 11:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

whoa. seriously. dude. heavy.

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make up is not what's wrong... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 2:18 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

make up is not what's wrong with make up... (except parabens...etc.)
(and there were times when men were actually wearing eyeliner... and there were times when men were painted like Easter eggs...)

the other day my female friend said when talking about metrosexual guys: "I don't get it... when a man is naturally pretty he just doesn't need to wear a make up."

I dunno... but in my piece of Matrix that what's women used to be told. Actually that was the goal. If you want to attract a man, you should get rid of make up. Guys don't like it. There's nothing worse than "make up-ed" girl in bed. Yet every girl in her teens was wearing a make up. (maybe bc they weren't trying to get laid...) I stopped to wear make up when I grew out of teenager category, but back then I used to wear bright green shadows with red shirts bc I loved that combination of colors... and other girls used to "teach" me how is that not "stylish" or something and that I should wear blue shadows since I have blue eyes (they read it somewhere...apparently women's magazines are for women from women)... I was definitely not trying to attract men; the moment I got seriously interested in men I got rid of all make up (my piece of Matrix kicked in :)).
well, no. that's not the whole story.

system is running nonetheless. and while guys are judging: "geeez, did you see that clown? tons of make up all over her face..I wonder she haven't crashed under such a weight yet" (seems like in my corner of Matrix make up is a sign of insecurity); girls are rolling their eyes: "oh god, look at that dork with highlights and gel in his hair stiffened like concrete..."

I dunno... those games. they probably will be here forever.

well, I still make jokes about those girls who wear miniskirts in freezing cold to keep that feeling of power due to "sexiness". but if I happened to be witness of one of them being raped I would kick that guy in head and then rip off his genitalia forever and not pass by thinking "you see?".

if you are wearing make up doesn't mean you are insecure, or that the only way how to feel powerful for you is to be pretty. the system may want you to think that though. actually, that's exactly what it is doing - telling women that their power is in their beauty.

changing the system? don't play it's game. the system will spit you out as not digestible. or subvert it from the inside.

we can beg men to stop behave as they behave, or to criticize them ad infinitum, but if we continue behave like they are gods who are to decide or approve what a woman is worth, they can laugh at us "they are just faking, they like it as it is".

what's funny is that you don't have to be angelina to have sex in this world, ask any guy. "it's not about sex, it's about power." and the only way for you to have any resemblance of power is to be pretty. yeah, some men will buy you gifts and do you favors and will dance on your command, and some girls will envy you. and that's exactly the limit of your power, that's how far you can reach.

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Alone,after number... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 2:22 AM | Posted by Philosopher & His Poor: | Reply

Alone,

after number VI you went back to IV, where it should be VII.

There's also no I.

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He's not angry, you're just... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 2:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

He's not angry, you're just projecting.

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Oh wow, thank you. On all o... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 3:33 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh wow, thank you. On all of this. From the makeup to the power to the rape.

You know what drove me crazy in college? That I was so especially praised for taking care of drunk friends. I'd carry my roomie and another girlfriend away from pika dudes at 4AM and the next day "YOU'RE SO WONDERFUL" by anyone that knew. From other girls at that party that did nothing. Eventually that became my reputation. I could be drunk off my ass and some random girl would sit her drunk friend on my lap "Watch her for me, you're such a good person" Paranas the guys sure, but what sort of a witch abandons a friend?

But what bugged me is the praise. Similar to how they qualify the slaveowner as evil it seemed they needed to make the obvious action of not letting some poor passed out girl get molested be extraordinary instead of basic. These same women that do slutwalks and hate victim blaming. Yes it is directly the rapist causing rape but you all saw the assassin putting poison in the drink and sharpening his knife and said nothing. Cowards.

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thank you for the only sane... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 4:02 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

thank you for the only sane comment on here. this article is so full of bullshit, bad research, dismission of actual women's work and other misogynism that it's just a waste of time to comment further.

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"So why do you still keep t... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 4:11 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous294's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"So why do you still keep this blog open?"

"So why did you decide to rise up? I liked you better as a slave."

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Girls, wrong dimension when... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 5:27 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Girls, wrong dimension when answering. You are proving it. No power for u booohoooo.

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Lovely post.Certai... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 5:33 AM | Posted by Manina: | Reply

Lovely post.

Certainly by keeping the focus on beauty we can ignore the fact that, as Menippus said to Philonides, in the end our bones end up in a pile, "uncertain, unlabelled, indistinguishable."

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You don't need to buy a boo... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 7:14 AM | Posted, in reply to Ben's comment, by Cretin: | Reply

You don't need to buy a book about raising strong daughters, just raise them as if they were boys.

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I believe there are two way... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 10:28 AM | Posted by Alex J.: | Reply

I believe there are two ways by which people attempt to achieve beauty.

The first is simply by imitation. You just start by looking at what everyone else is doing, and try to do the same. You end up following a set of common rules that are more or less socially vetted and understood to cause the supposed emergence of what you'd call beauty. However, given that the source of these rules is external, the only way to validate yourself is by receiving external approval. This is cargo cult behaviour. You do something because others do it, without really understanding why it works. The results of the application of this method say nothing about yourself. Most of the time, they project the personality equivalent of a cheap Chinese knock-off. It brings with it no intrinsic value, and therefore doesn't nurture the self-confidence that makes people truly attractive.

The second is to become genuinely interested in the subject of beauty, not for its social ramifications, but because understanding beauty will genuinely improve you as a person. You do this by cultivating an eye to color, shape and composition, by studying art and fashion, by really dwelling on the subject of what beauty *is* and how it works. The result of this work is a change in your perception that allows you to access, based on your own understanding of the world, whether something looks good or not. This allows you to have Opinions, derived from yourself and your unique personality. Because these opinions come from your own understanding, their validation does not depend on others' approval. Employing them shows that you have the mental capacity and experience to make artistic decisions and are therefore a useful person to society. This is truly attractive and the source of real beauty.

The adage "you must look good to yourself" is usually thrown around in an equally cargo-cultish manner. Its true meaning is that you need to stop trying to do it because everyone else does it, and start doing it because you want to become a more interesting and valuable person. And as everything else of value, you have to put in some actual work to get there. Only when you can look in the mirror and decide for yourself that you look good, with full knowledge that you can justify it to yourself without asking anyone else, will you be able to project the necessary feeling of self confidence that makes you look attractive in others' eyes.

It comes down again to real value vs appearance of value. Which is like real power and appearance of power. Power is achieved internally, simply by acting in a way as to alter the state of things around you according to your opinions. This requires opinions, and to have opinions you need to know how to have them. The rest is just a matter of engineering.

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I find that many of the man... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 10:48 AM | Posted by Luciano: | Reply

I find that many of the manosphere blogs tend to be a bit too centred on America (for obvious reasons).

Therefore I would like to bring up one little detail, Margaret Thatcher got in a relatively important position while government still had a certain degree of power*. How would you explain that in light of the rest of your argument?

Note: I don't disagree with you, I find what you write very interesting. I would like your view on this issue however.

*Ironically, while she was in power she was instrumental in giving this power away, couldn't cope?

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First off, the point is tha... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 10:55 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

First off, the point is that women are allowed to be in the lawyer's role because the lawyer has very little actual power just as women or blacks or average joes are allowed in formerly "elite" positions in our society precisely because those positions seem like powerful positions without having actual power. It's about gatekeeping. The elite abandoned the positions because they knew that such positions have very little power over our everyday lives. congress can't change our day to day lives, you'd have more power as the head of some multi-national or other megacorp. The corp. has all the power, because government cannot run without the taxes they bring in, and further if they get pissed, they leave. So in order to run the government to a real degree, you have to give in to those forces, the real power. Look no farther than the Facebook guy who renounced his citizenship rather than face a huge tax burden -- He basicly flipped the government the bird on his way out the door with millions in American dollars made on American soil, and the American government couldn't do anything but lower the tax rate so that other people would not do the same thing. Who had the power? Not the government.

Same thing with lawyers -- they're basicly clerks, they can't change the system much. It's mostly finding loopholes for whatever side you're paid to be on. No major social changes in the last 40 years have come as a direct result of a lawsuit. So let the women be lawyers, it's all about finding a lingual trick that makes you right.

Real power can dictate terms, it can throw it's weight around, it can demand that you pay attention to it. Fake power collects titles and pretends that they mean something.

As to why Feminists are not getting the results they want. A couple of things. First off, they're interested in symbols, not reality. Being a congresswoman or a lawyer represents that you should have power, in other words it looks to people who don't know better that they have power. Lots of people think that Pelosi has power. OK what signature piece of legislation has she passed in the last 10 years? What has she done that changes the way that you live your life? Nothing. It's symbolic power, not real power. Also, women and for that matter gays in those movements tend to be upper middle class. That matters because it's not a matter of survival for most of them. Which changes how you approach the situation. If (as it was for blacks in the 1960's) getting power meant that you could get decent jobs and not live in the slums, or that political power means that it's no longer acceptable to lynch you, you will get the actual power. It's not a game. If you're upper middle class, getting rights is not life or death. And as such you don't insist on power, because you don't need the power. If the black rights movement had failed blacks would still be lynched, still be subjects of medical experiments (tuskagee, for example) and still be living a third world existence in first world America. If Women's rights fail, she still has an upper middle class lifestyle, complete with first world education, comfortable income, and all kinds of other perks. Gays is the same thing -- so you can't get married, you still get the upper middle class income, upper middle class education, and so on. So why worry that you don't get to be with the power-brokers? The power brokers aren't hurting you, you're in their families. So you take the symbolic power, because you aren't afraid of the real powers.

So it's kind of both. But I really don't think the distribution of power has changed much since the time of the Romans. It's always elite families at the top, toadies in the middle, peasents and slaves at the bottom. We just come up with power structures that make it look like it's all merit. It isn't. Patronage is as much a key to power in America as it ever was in Rome.

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Margaret Thatcher had real ... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 11:16 AM | Posted, in reply to Luciano's comment, by Stacy: | Reply

Margaret Thatcher had real power, but, I want to point out, she was disliked by a great many women. Those who voted for Thatcher (voted Tory - not directly for her, yes, I know how a parliamentary system works) didn't vote Tory because she was a woman. They chose her despite the fact that she was a woman. Powerful women, not-pseudo powerful women like Hillary Clinton, are frequently despised by other women. Elizabeth I or Cleopatra who both had family members put to death to seize power are fine examples. For those familiar with the world of finance, another example of the powerful but despised woman is Meredith Whitney.

These kinds of women don’t gain power by drawing on the sisterhood, by appealing to ideas of equality in gender or “fairness”. They just take it, like men. Fuck you, I want it.

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I just wanted to say I agre... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 11:54 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Stacy: | Reply

I just wanted to say I agree with a great deal of what you've written.

Makeup/No makeup - it's really all about what the culture at any given time determines what is attractive/desirable.

The sex stuff and our (both women and men) use of it to gain influence and power is universal and constant, but it is only one aspect of our identity - a powerful part, but just part. People who don't know this make frequent fools of themselves and overplay their hands.

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What do we make of the new ... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 12:55 PM | Posted by Outsize: | Reply

What do we make of the new trend in rhetoric, highlighted in this post but also heard from Jon Stewart et al, where the language of relationships comes through in public forums - i.e. "We need to talk about American masculinity." "We as a nation need to have a conversation about gun laws." Ideas?

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Were I to wager a guess, I'... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 3:22 PM | Posted, in reply to Outsize's comment, by Alathon: | Reply

Were I to wager a guess, I'd say it's language optimized for inaction. By couching everything as a discussion, there's no implication that action will ever be taken, so you can complete the discussion and both sides can declare victory as long as nothing is done.

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Hey Anon, And the... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 3:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Ed S.: | Reply

Hey Anon,

And the Anon I'm replying to said:

To the extremely angry person who wrote this post:

You use the example of a woman lawyer raising her daughter to be a lawyer to empower her, and complain that having a whole generation of women lawyers takes the power away from it. How is that so? The power shouldn't be simply that she's the rare woman who is a lawyer, but that she's in a field where her talents, if she has any, can shine.

Well, that may be what your read into what Alone said, or what you think the subtext is, but what Alone actually wrote was:

In this case, you are seeing a shift of power be repackaged as a gender battle. And it's quite apparent that power is a generation or so ahead of you, so in 1990 a 40 year old who grew up around successful lawyers then says to his 5 year old, "daughter, you should become a lawyer!" and she probably at one point collaborates to decry the lack of female role models, and then by the time she graduates law school she discovers she's a dime a dozen, power has been withdrawn, one step ahead....

Minor point first: it's not a woman lawyer raising her daughter to be a lawyer to empower her; it's a MAN who grew up around successful lawyers telling HIS daughter to be a lawyer. And note the timeframe given -- a 40 year old in 1990 -- so born in 1950 and "grew up" let's say 1960 - 1970 REMEMBERING what WERE powerful positions during his formative years.

Major point: Alone's point is that the power (law in this example) has shifted or evaporated over a generation and now that it's gone, women enter the field. Alone says it better:

"....A shift of power be repackaged as a gender battle. And it's quite apparent that power is a generation or so ahead of you..... by the time she graduates....power has been withdrawn"

You have the Alone's causality reversed: it's not because there are women in the activity that it's not powerful, it's that if it's powerful, there are few women in the field. And it's not angry or hateful or anti-woman; it's an observation of the way the world is.

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Stacy,Your comment... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 3:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Stacy's comment, by Ed S.: | Reply

Stacy,

Your comment: No, sorry, The Secretary of State became a public relations position under Bill Clinton. James Baker was our last real Sec. of State. HC is just a PR hack

Bingo.

And that change coincided with the demise of the Soviet Union -- the only potential challenger to oligarchic domination.

And not a bad position to use to neuter a political rival (e.g. HRC, Colin Powell).

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This is the kind of thing h... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 4:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Lilin: | Reply

This is the kind of thing he does a lot, especially with feminism. (Or possibly I just notice it because I know more about feminism than he does.) He bends the facts to fit his pet theory. The last one was about The Hunger Games, in which he advanced a theory "it's the most sexist story of the year" and supported it with some good evidence, but then also wrote stuff that showed he hadn't read the story. When people pointed it out, he wrote a post about how he definitely, definitely had read the book AND seen the movie - and then mentioned a bunch of scenes to support his theory again. The problem was, he got the facts of those scenes completely wrong. These were key scenes that anyone who had read the book or seen the movie wouldn't have missed, and they were used to support his argument. So either he didn't actually read the book or see the movie, or saw both but re-edited the entire thing in his head to support his argument.

In this case, he's gone on and on about how we learn our rules of behavior from the system, and the system is what determines what women do, and women haven't found a way to change the power dynamics of that system. But when girls in a small town don't stick up for each other, it's because they learned the rules from women - even though he has nothing to back that up and he has spent the entire post saying that men control the system and teach people the rules. He also ignores the fact that two women, the victim and the female blogger, starting getting people's attention and turned this into a national cause. He's also acting as though women protecting other women doesn't happen, even though a minute spent searching the internet, or talking to any women, will show you that it does, both in organized ways and spontaneously in individuals.

I don't think he hates women. And I think parts of his posts have good points. But I do think he's not a fan of feminism(fine) and refuses to let the facts get in the way of a good story(not so fine).

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RISE UP! YOU GOT TO RISE!!... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 4:41 PM | Posted by H.R.: | Reply

RISE UP! YOU GOT TO RISE!!!!!!!!! - Bad Brains

Smoke a fat one and listen to the song, Doc. Foh Real Yo!

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Lilin said: "But when girls... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 5:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Lilin's comment, by GOTO10: | Reply

Lilin said: "But when girls in a small town don't stick up for each other, it's because they learned the rules from women - even though he has nothing to back that up and he has spent the entire post saying that men control the system and teach people the rules. He also ignores the fact that two women, the victim and the female blogger, starting getting people's attention and turned this into a national cause."

One of the main points of the Django Unchained section is that both sides are plugged in to the system. 'Why don't they rise up' / 'Why don't they just stop'. just add 'Why didn't other women intervene'. As for making this a national cause, one of the large points of the article is that many of the things today's feminists do are actually regressive as they plug people even more into the system rather than fight against it. He's not blaming women for keeping women down, but blaming feminists for creating Marx's false-consciousness.

It's the same argument he made of Kony 2012 and Occupy Wall Street. These movements make just enough noise to become no threat. Just enough for catharsis, but never enough for change. Protests that perpetuate the status quo.

His arguments are a bit heavy on the social Conflict Theory for my taste, but they are self-consistent.

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I have to ask at this point... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 5:39 PM | Posted, in reply to GOTO10's comment, by Lilin: | Reply

I have to ask at this point, what "system" are you even talking about? And how does it determine one mode of behavior in a case - passivity in the face of a woman being attacked - but is utterly unaffected by the opposite mode of behavior - women standing up for a woman being attacked. If you've used a case as an example of how the system works, but are then told the details are exactly the opposite of what you've been told, you can't say that's still an example of the system working.

I think your problem is you're framing things in a different way each time.

"The system taught women that they don't stand up for this girl being raped."

"But there are a bunch of women standing up for this girl who was raped, and it changed a lot of things about her circumstances and the way her court case was handled."

"But that won't change the system, because it's just a lot of noise that only affected one girl!"

You end up sounding like that Bill Hicks routine where he criticized reporters who talked about how rain doesn't help a drought. You're saying the general determines the particular, but then when being told that the details of the particular are exactly the opposite of what you've been told, you reframe it as the particular not determining the general, and act like that was your argument the whole time.

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The idea that Alone was try... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 5:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Lilin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The idea that Alone was trying to convey, is that Katniss never Han Solo-ed anyone; she didn't shoot first.
And she didn't kill to win.

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Keep it up! I mean... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 6:13 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Keep it up!

I meant the writing, damn, you're so dirty.

I think the point is, instead of a whole bunch of people writing on the internet "Assange! Yeah he's a jerk! That's rape!"

There is less in the way of ACTION STEPS. What are all these thousands of feminists collaborating on to physically do to change how shitty they RIGHTLY think things are? The point is not that the talk is bad but that unless it's coupled with DO-- here is what we can DO together to support women in need of help coping with women's issues----, here is what we can DO to change the laws or the cultural attitude....

I mean his point is clearly that, do you really think thousands of conversations at feministing are going to do anything to cause men to like feminism more?

And aren't MEN (who rape women) the people who most need to start understanding they shouldn't rape? Aren't abusers the most in need of understanding what abuse is and that they shouldn't do it? Aren't men the ones that need to get the message of what rape actually does to women in the long term... WHY abuse victims turn to lives of internet venting about rapes and cat pictures because half of them are on disability and too fucked up to work or do anything else? (hey it's a self description don't think I'm just being mean...)

The people who need to know, the people who minimize the effects of abuse, not just abusers but ordinary folk who minimize itand uphold abusers sides of things and blame abuse victims for their struggles---- they are not at feministing.

The education needs to make it beyond the self release of in-group speak that affects no change to the people who don't vluntarily seek out the information (in which case they can't actually be the sort of people who need it most?)

The truth is, some of the most nasty abusers have faced cruel rearing themselves from their parents. You know, being abused or being shoved into reality without mercy for how hard it is or being trained to give and recieve love and nurturing.

Poverty is abusive.

And the idea that a woman who smacked a little but fed and clothed and goes shopping with the money from the dude who is breaking his back and his soul, literally to make it happen in the physically demanding fields of work men are expected to do if needed-- it's hard to reason with these fuckers. Reality is just as cruel to the struggling woman with no resources to take a break when needed or find another job if it's destroying her... but women are much more likely to be able to make a sweet smile and get out of the terrible labor force that is lower class (and some middle and upper class paying) working life.

Reality is more cruel than many abusers-- it will kill, destroy and cause excruciating pain with no mercy at all.

It's more TWISTED--- it's more DEMENTED when humans do the things reality does to humans without feeling. And in truth, one might argue, more emotionally scarring. But in truth when populations have high quantities of abusive, angry, violent, raging, depressive, chemically dependant men-- I have to ask-- who is raising these men, what the fuck is happening in their lives, and why are they so miserable and disturbed? Is it possible that rearing and community is an essential component to human health and that our culture's beliefs about what humans need in terms of familial and social support is in fact not scientifically accurate?

And I'm not actually blaming mothers, maybe the mothers want to be doing better but can't. What's in the way? Poverty? Lack of emotional support? Lack of community? Being overworked and absent just to pay the bills? Abandoning fathers?

Why aren't the men providing the financial resources for women to be emotionally and physically supported to focus on rearing? OR if we are to be enlightened... why aren't women earning the money so that men can stay at home and focus on the rearing if the man is the better caregiver?

If everyone's supposed to be working all day long during the week then... who is doing the rearing?

People say it's hard for families. I agree, it is hard for families. It's frustrating because the same married liberal couples who have no problem saying some irresponsable lady who got knoecked up needs to have an abortion because DUH, her situation isn't good enough for children.

Then they turn around and say "But you can't hold ME accountable for being a financial and emotional provider of all my children's needs. That's too hard!!! You don't know how hard it is!"

Well, were was that abortion when you should have gotten one then, oh middle class who finds it all so impossibly hard? No problem requiring poor people be banned from parenthood but if you struggle...it's because... parenting is just understandably hard. And no one should judge you. Or feel bad for your kids. And maybe the lower classes should work for even less money to make your precious middle class "difficult" life easier.

Women's issues ARE different than men's issues. Someone needs to be nurturing the children. Someone has a uterus to grow them. Someone has breasts to feed them. Feminists have been fighting so hard to be able to abort and to be able to leave children and stay in the workforce instead of mothering-- what we're left with is a culture that devalues human development in the womb and the bonds that happen during pregnancy and birth and early childhood which are usually (BUT NOT ALWAYS!) much stronger between a mother than a father. And much stronger between a child and mother than a stressed out childcare worker with 8 other screaming babies in the room and one assistant.

It's funny because women activists have fought HARD to give women an advantage in cusotdy arrangements. I think this is RIGHT. It's the right thing to do because mothers tend to be more bonded to their children due to the birth and early rearing experience. This advantage in court SUCKS for men who are nurturers being divorced by wives who are assholes and don't have a maternal bone in their body, which does happen plenty.

But the averages trend toward women being nurturers and there are legitimate reasons that treating women as unique from, rather than the exact same as men, makes sense. After all, we basically fought for all women to see rearing children as boring servant work like men do, while they go out in the world to do ACTUAL valuable work.

Who cleans up the mess of what that does to the children? Making conditions better for women includes making conditions better for men. Human rights should be the united goal, with specific issues that affect women being part of that. Women ARE different from men, there will not be a time when (unless we genetically modify humans) women's right's issues won't need to be a specific part of human rights issues.

But poverty- lack of physical, emotional, and psychological resources--- is at the root of all human rights issues.

And the solution to that is production of goods that make human life comfortable and healthy-- and human beings taking the time to be there, in person for those in need of emotional support.

We can all volunteer to take care of the broken people (or to fight to keep them out of society)-- or maybe we could support and train their mothers to do it to begin with since there are no pills or therapy techniques that fix mammals neglected and abused in their early development.

We could also provide better male oriented services since men with PTSD and trauma and mental illness issues are more likely to use drug dependance or cope with personality disordered behavior rather than face how shitty their family situation was or things they went through (or accept help, period). Encouraging men "to therapy" might not work as well and there might be legitimate reasons for that.

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I think this article tackle... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 6:42 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

I think this article tackles issues relating almost exclusively to American culture. I'm inclined to think that its central thesis -- that women are pleased to be decorative, rather than powerful -- is largely false. Just because they are pushed into a decorative role does not mean they chose it and you can't take the fact that they engage in personal grooming as evidence that women are prepared to settle for less than men would be.

On the matter of American feminism, there can often be some problems. Perhaps the issue is that some women really are going for power, in a way that is separated from idealism, logic, or normal human manners. It's very typical to encounter an American troll ranting at you, proclaiming, "all you think about it yourself!" when they are trying to get people to see things their way. Narcissism is not party to communication, but this ailment afflicts many who would be activists. They think if they shout and scream at you enough, society will start to change. The Men's Rights activists do the same thing. They yell and abuse. It's the American way.

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What is this system we're t... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 6:56 PM | Posted, in reply to Lilin's comment, by GOTO10: | Reply

What is this system we're talking about? Not a clue. It's a problem i've had with conflict theory; The hand-wavy 'them' who are keeping the proletariat down. In alone's writing I take it to mean U.S. culture.

I don't see it as a false comparison because women really didn't stand up for the raped girl(s); the particulars did not change. You are correct that they stood up in the trial, but not at the party. Alone was comparing a 1986 rape case to a presumably 2011 rape case where in both instances the women present at the rape did nothing to stop it.

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" In alone's writing I take... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 7:32 PM | Posted, in reply to GOTO10's comment, by Lilin: | Reply

" In alone's writing I take it to mean U.S. culture. I don't see it as a false comparison because women really didn't stand up for the raped girl(s); the particulars did not change. You are correct that they stood up in the trial, but not at the party. Alone was comparing a 1986 rape case to a presumably 2011 rape case where in both instances the women present at the rape did nothing to stop it."

The problem is, that goes back to not letting the facts get in the way of a good story. He's decided that these two cases stand for America. Fine. But America is only defined by the people at the party, not the people who stood up and changed things afterwards. How did that get to be a fact? Why do the girls at the party count, but the women who changed the way the legal system was handling afterwards not count? Because if they did, he'd have to change his story, so he blocks out the facts.

Also, why do these two stories count most, when you can find, between 1986 and 2011, plenty of stories about women stopping rape? (And more than that if you consider the fact that a woman telling guys to stop something, and them stopping it, is less likely to end up in the paper than a gang rape.) Because if he took that into account, he wouldn't get to tell his story the way he wants to tell it.

And then within is argument, women never get to call the shots in the system, and the system determines young women's behavior, but women, more than anything else, determine young women's behavior. Because if they didn't how would he say what he wants to say?

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Because if the women at the... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 7:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Lilin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Because if the women at the party did something, there would be no case. And that's Alone's point.
If women got really serious about feminism, and made a point of educating and converting women, "the patriarchy" would lose much of it's power.
Instead feminism focuses on demanding that the system change so that women feel empowered.

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"Also, why do these two sto... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 7:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Lilin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Also, why do these two stories count most, when you can find, between 1986 and 2011, plenty of stories about women stopping rape?"

Because the point isn't that it doesn't happen but that it's never spoken as what needs to be done. In his example of "A dentist firing his assitant because she's ugly will get him fired by an angry mob" is precisely about this. People know that the rape needs to stop, but too many are unwilling to stop it as it happens.

Maybe he does find fault in modern feminism, I know at the very least I do, but you seem blinded by this in light of the very fact that he's trying to actually empower women with not just this article but any time one relates to women.

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"Why do the girls at the pa... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 8:01 PM | Posted by GOTO10: | Reply

"Why do the girls at the party count, but the women who changed the way the legal system was handling afterwards not count? Because if they did, he'd have to change his story, so he blocks out the facts." ... "Also, why do these two stories count most, when you can find, between 1986 and 2011, plenty of stories about women stopping rape?"

Though I find picking a supporting example less damning than you do, fair enough. You are correct that he's marginalizing the real accomplishments of feminism in the intervening years in order to make his point.

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What real accomplishments? ... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 8:09 PM | Posted, in reply to GOTO10's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

What real accomplishments? The entire point is that recent history and achievements have been superficial.

Let's keep this simple. When Rosa Parks sat at the front of the bus to make a stand for change, did she ask for permission or for those in charge to consider letting it happen? NO. She took it.

While not about female empowerment you should still be able to get the point.

Instead of encouraging women to take power, modern feminism focuses on demanding that the system change so that women feel empowered.

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There are two different are... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 8:24 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by GOTO10: | Reply

There are two different areas we're talking about here; I'll call them cultural and structural.

Structural changes are changes to our laws and government. The apparatus of the nation. And there have been very real structural accomplishments ranging from birth control and sex-ed in schools (very much topics of gender equality), to the kind of rape laws Lilin referred to. And until the early 2000s, the wage gap was measurably closing. Emphasis on 'was'.

The other side of it is cultural, dealing with the outlooks of people, how people are socialized into a gender, and norms/roles. This is where I feel alone was claiming feminism has failed.

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The powers that be changed ... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 8:40 PM | Posted, in reply to GOTO10's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The powers that be changed the system just enough, so that most women don't care to be feminists.
Calling that a real achievement is like being date-raped by the devil. You're in bed with him, you just don't know it yet.

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Outsize:"What do we make of... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 9:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Outsize's comment, by Nerpz: | Reply

Outsize:"What do we make of the new trend in rhetoric... "We need to talk about American masculinity." "We as a nation need to have a conversation about gun laws." Ideas?"

• It's been going on for a while
• It's the 'royal we' dictating the time, place, and subject matter for a 'conversation' that has a predetermined outcome
• In other words, it IS the Matrix (again...)
• It's the sort of verbal construction one might use with a child, but not with an adult
• I have learned not to trust people who use 'conversation' in this way- they are not seeking understanding, they are making a play for CONTROL

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A request.I could ... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 9:23 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

A request.

I could use help trying to explain to my friend how this isn't victim blaming. They're very defensive when it comes to sexism and I'm apparently terrible at giving a good description or explanation. Anyone?

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Alone isn't asking why more... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 9:41 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Alone isn't asking why more victims don't kick rapists in the mouth, he's asking why women don't band together to change the status quo, rather than demanding that the status quo just ups and changes itself.

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"Because what this ad says,... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 10:34 PM | Posted by lemmy caution: | Reply

"Because what this ad says, explicitly, is that owning the gun doesn't make you a man; when you own the gun, some other omnipotent entity will declare you a man."

Male initiation rituals are almost universal among hunter gatherers. Other men telling you whether you are a man or not:

http://artofmanliness.com/2010/02/21/male-rites-of-passage-from-around-the-world/

To pretend that this is new or a result of modern narcissism is silly.

The problem with the man card is that there is no man card. You can buy stuff but it doesn't work like the actual ritual.

There were miller light commercials on the "man card" too:

http://deadspin.com/5844327/screw-you-and-screw-your-man-card

fucking light beer.

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"Also, why do these two sto... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 11:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Lilin's comment, by Yndrd1984: | Reply

"Also, why do these two stories count most, when you can find, ... plenty of stories about women stopping rape? [etc]"

An avoided rape tells us less about where things need to change than one that did happen in spite of a large number of people who had chances to intervene. The point being made was that in some cases whole groups of women will ignore a rape going on right in front of them, and people will completely ignore those women. And they're being ignored even though women in similar situations are obvious candidates for "Who's behavior can we easily change in order to stop rapes?".

"Why do the girls at the party count, but the women who changed the way the legal system was handling afterwards not count?"

That a few out of 150 million women were willing to help doesn't disprove that quite a few women were not. One vengeance-fueled slave might kill a few slaveholders, but he isn't going to end slavery.

"And then within is argument, women never get to call the shots in the system, and the system determines young women's behavior, but women, more than anything else, determine young women's behavior."

Exactly. Women enforce an arbitrary set of rules, but for the most part they don't make those rules. You really think that out of all the things they could possibly ask for, 80% of western women want, of their own free will, a diamond engagement ring? "I was going to have him save it for a car or a down payment on a house, but thanks to a De Beers ad campaign and social pressure, now I know what I really want."

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"why do the whites... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 11:31 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"why do the whites own slaves? Why don't they just... stop?"

Although that question didn't occur to me in the 7th grade, my older sister was in the 10th grade at the time, learning about Kent State, and a similar question came to my mind, i.e. "Why didn't the troops just put down their guns?"

While the answer still isn't perfectly clear today, I'm 99% sure it has nothing to do with a "man card".

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"I could use help trying to... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 12:04 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Yndrd1984: | Reply

"I could use help trying to explain to my friend how this isn't victim blaming."

Peasants: The Vikings are going to raid our village again!

Knight: Don't worry, I'm here to help and there are enough weapons for everyone. I'll teach you to use them, and we can probably drive them back to the sea with few casualties.

Ps: Why should we do that? Shouldn't the Vikings just realize that what they're doing is immoral?

K: It would be nice if the world worked that way, but it doesn't - sometimes evil pops up and has to be dealt with. You also have a responsibility to look out for the well being of your friends and family, so...

Ps: Responsibility? Are you saying it's our fault that the village got sacked before?

K: Wait, what? I'm just saying the if you do things differently, they might turn out better. Now, if...

Ps: Victim-blamer! It's not our job to protect ourselves!

K: Well if you won't even try to save yourselves... Good-bye and good luck!

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Hollywood isn't sexist anym... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 12:39 AM | Posted by in columbus: | Reply

Hollywood isn't sexist anymore, though. They've stopped using the word "actress" and started calling actresses "actors."

Problem solved!

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those women in court would ... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 1:23 AM | Posted, in reply to Lilin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

those women in court would count more if that rape happened while they had tied hands or something...
but if someone was trying to rape me and I would watch bystanders passing by without any action whatsoever, I would not be comforted by awareness that "oh, but in court they will stand for me"...

right after suing a rapist I would sue them as accomplices.

well, the point of article was not to criticize women in general, it was pointing at some cases that are astounding.
yeah, we've accomplished fairly a lot, but everyday life shows that the core hasn't been shaken yet..

and imo follow-worthy female role models could be helpful... (not enough of them though)

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Speaking of lawyers: I rece... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 3:15 AM | Posted by XtraXtra: | Reply

Speaking of lawyers: I recently read an article about a woman who became a lawyer in order to put her abusive stepfather behind bars. (Which she did.)

That to me is power. Not what you learn but what you do with it.

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Nice dissection of learned ... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 3:31 AM | Posted by Kcal: | Reply

Nice dissection of learned helplessness. Anonymous is not Men, it's an idea silly or a silly idea.

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Yes, we are all taught ways... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 5:18 AM | Posted, in reply to Yuliya's comment, by Zelazny: | Reply

Yes, we are all taught ways to behave. We do not exist in a social vacuum and will never grow to be 'free' in the sense you seem to wish to see it.

And we're also all people who can take responsibility for their lives and choices. You want to be free? Be free, just don't say that 'we' need to change something. This is the type of language that shows that you project your own image of a 'better world' over that individual choice of others.

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If you have a girlfriend, I... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 6:14 AM | Posted by Bambi: | Reply

If you have a girlfriend, I feel sorry for her.

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Could you please explain wh... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 7:56 AM | Posted by Nobody: | Reply

Could you please explain why do you think so?

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I am a man in a woman's pro... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 9:09 AM | Posted by Ἀντισθένης: | Reply

I am a man in a woman's profession: elementary teacher. Guess the percentage of men who've done anything behind my back; guess the percentage of men. One of them is 0%. The other is less than 50%, but sure not 0%. Seems to fit this post's narrative...

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Well, they were barely harm... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 9:28 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Well, they were barely harmed by the system in the first place. That's why they don't need real power. They have a middle class, and in the case of most of the activists, upper middle class to upper class existence. You don't need to upend a system that works for you. The people who are "feminists" don't NEED real power because the power is on their side. They aren't negatively impacted, if anything they benefit from having two people in top positions while the rest of the peasents watch from the sidelines hoping for a few crumbs. When Daddy runs a business, you have power and advantages -- even if "the system" doesn't officially recognize you. If you have no money and daddy is a plumber, it matters whether "the system" recognizes you. So I would call most feminists basicly hobby civil rights advocates. It isn't that they don't believe in what they're doing, but that if it doesn't happen, they aren't any worse off than they would have been before.

Go back to Django. You have to take on one of the roles, and Django will still be a slave. You can be the white man, the white woman, the black man, or the black woman. Who do you choose? Honestly, the white woman is only slightly lower than the white man, as she gets to benefit from living in the white man's house as a partner -- not an equal partner, this is 1850 or so -- so she gets a lot more benefits as a white woman than she would as a black anything. The black people in that picture are just bit players in the monkeysphere, they don't count as real people. They live in poverty, they can be beaten or sold just because. The wife lives in the big house, she eats the same food made by the slaves, she wears fancy dresses that the white man bought her, she can get educated in elite schools, and so on. Which is why women don't need power. When your life is comfortable, you don't upend the system that supports your comfortable lifestyle. If a real powershift were to happen, either going toward the women or toward the brown people, her life changes. She can no longer lean on the support system that makes her life good. If whitey goes down, she'll have to make her dresses out of curtains rather than silk. If the system goes down, she'll have to fight for the right to get into private schools and colleges and the right to have a high status job against other people who were kept out of her way by "The System." So instead of actually fighting for a change, they fight for symbolic change. Hey look, we have civil rights, I'm in the Senate. Fine, but the reason you don't care that it's symbolic is that you are play-acting civil rights. You never NEEDED civil rights, in fact actual civil rights is dangerous to you, because "The System" has been treating you as one of its own for centuries.

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I had a flatmate say to me ... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 10:52 AM | Posted by Me: | Reply

I had a flatmate say to me (about the Jewish Holocaust): "Why didn't they resist?" Same assumptions as discussed in this post, in other words.

This article, to some extent, castigates individuals for not pushing past their fear & fighting back. But it's not only fear for one's self (if I don't wear makeup, I'll be a figure of fun), it's also fear for one's family or social group. There are men in Egypt right now who are being paid to rape women - to scare the crap out of women so that they won't take part in the current political protests/movement. And it's working. When they interviewed the men (anonymously) & asked them why they're doing this, there were only two responses: (1) I need the money to eat or (2) I have to support my family.

It's all money & power. The same old story. We talk about slavery like it's a thing of the past but it's here today and we are part of the system. Whenever we buy our groceries, we oppress someone. So I don't think we can point the finger and say "why aren't you rising up?". People ARE rising up. They are always rising up. No revolution took place without years or generations of legwork. Maybe one day money & power won't mean a thing.

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Who says women are afraid -... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 12:53 PM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Who says women are afraid -- I'm saying the opposite, but the jew thing brings up a very good point. They did resist there were uprisings, for example in Warsaw. That happened because there was a real need. What I'm suggesting is that women don't rise up against the system for the same reason the "Good Germans" didn't. Sure the system wasn't perfect, but it also wasn't against them -- if anything the Good Germans (or in the case of Django, the good Housewife) never challenges the system in a real way because the system benefits HER. She's the housewife of a rich man, she's never had to worry about eating or housing or being sold. She never has to worry about whether she'll be allowed to get an education. Her dresses are silk and come from England. Same with the Germans -- they never stood up because the system, while imperfect, worked well for them. Less unemployment, a good highway system (the autobahn was a Nazi project), national pride, and no competition from Jews, Poles, or other undesireables who were "stealing their jobs". That's why the powerful never really go beyond the symbols -- the Matrix works for them. The Matrix protects them.

With the Matrix, Scarlett is a rich southern white girl who goes to parties with handsome men and never has to worry about war, slavery, working or education. Without the Matrix, she's just another poor southern girl with very little money and hungry enough to eat a raw turnip (at least I think it was a turnip). With the Matrix, Germans got to have good paying factory jobs, a rebuilt nation, national pride, and much less inflation. It wasn't perfect. Scarlett couldn't vote, and a German who didn't like the Matrix disappeared, but no one on the right side of the Matrix was suffering. So the Matrix is fine for them, no need to remake the system.

Jews rose up where they could, and where they couldn't they fled or hid. They had to -- the system wanted to kill them. Slaves did much the same -- either passively if they couldn't do anything else (the stupid black man stereotype comes from blacks acting stupid to do less work), or by running (Fredrick Douglass or Harriet Tubman), or by revolution if the numbers are great enough (Tousaint, who overthrew slavemasters in Haiti). But that's the difference, you resist the matrix if it hurts you, you don't care if it's neutral, and you'll protect it if it helps you.

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It's the responsability of ... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 2:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's the responsability of those with power and courage and strength (in all it's physical, emotional, intellectual, and psychological forms) to look out for the weaker.

Well, if you have an ethics system that says all of us with any abilities should use them for the good of both ourselves and others. This TENDS to be one of the more socially cohesive ethics systems in which high work ethic and dedication to contribution is encouraged in all members.

That said, some have different types of strengths and some have, quite frankly, smaller capacity to do much impact toward the good of others.

Most of us imagine a humane system would care for the elderly and the disabled despite that some ofthat caregiving might not result is any large gains for society as a whole but because human lives and experiences themselves are worth carrying about even if the human in question has limited ability to contribute.

What's frustrating is that a lot of activism about protecting women from rape involves a desire for higher criminal persecution and more aggressive treatment of rapists by communities and the penal system. Yes a lot of activists also want more use of resporative justice, rehabilitative prisons, and compassionate understanding of mental illness and disability.

So there's a bit of a gap in admitting that maybe a majority of women DO have a bit of a disability at psychological and physical combat with male predators who, look honestly are more frequently skilled predators.

I think it comes to being afraid to admit women might trend toward having areas of weakness- both in muscle tone and behavioral trends- that are more prevailant in women both for social and biological reasons. To me, I am opposed to ablism-- prejudice toward people with less abilities, so it inherently wouldn't matter to me to admit that on average women have certain weakness less common to men OR vice versa. It wouldn't bother me to know that the average is in fact the same between men and women as long as we aren't ablist toward people who are psychological, emotionally, cognitively, or physically less skilled in certain areas.

What is frustrating is when the weaker both demand to be cared for by the able bodied/minded people with more strength and refuse to acknowledge the increased work load that requires for able bodied people and at least attempt to provide acknolwedgement and other contributions that help balance the increased work load for those who are doing ultimately more work.

I also think that all human beings need some help unshacking their minds from what they have been taught and accepted as the status quo because life is comfortable for them that way.

Seeing others in suffering is usually not enough to wake the average person up. We see people in suffering all the time and do nothing and in a world with SO MUCH suffering, we can't really get our hackles raised for every difficulty we see in the world. But we can unite with a common goal of working together to alleviate suffering. That includes all people addressing their own personal weakness as best as possible, with compassion for their own limitations-- and using their skills to help others. It also includes compassion for the limitations of others while encouraging us all to work for the common good.

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I also think abilities are ... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 2:29 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I also think abilities are not static. People defined as "disabled" may not be so if they cultivate their problem areas. People labeled as "normal" but struggling might do better if given acknoledgement they are CURRENTLY disabled or "low functioning" in an area and given the space and support to cultivate strength in that area with less presssure to simply perform better through the use of shaming and social disdain.

Applied to women, I think that for social and possibly biological reasons, many women are more vulnerable to predation. Through training and practice many women can build their resiliency to predators. That doesn't mean the weak, frightened, cowardly, panicked, needy or otherwise vulnerable humans (male or female) deserve the abuse this world will dish out on them. It's on all of us, male and female, to look out for the weak (whether male or female). I think males however look at a fellow weak male and rate performance and ability in a way that men don't want to be labelled, because they are keeping track of who contirbutes what and who should be thus rewarded, usually in pay and social respect. And when a man helps a weak woman-- that sense of "pay" tends to involve enjoying seeing her vulnerability and the ability to render aid because of.. duh.

Whereas women often don't like to keep score of who is weak and who needed help and who contributed what. But since we're trying to erase gender and encourage men and women to thinkthe same way and not have "male" or "female" ways of thinking, we need to examine these "male" and "female" trends in thinking about reward for skills and labelling of weakness or low contributors and how to make a cohesive society that is human to low performers without overburdening the workers to make society function.

IT's weird that women are still allowed to embrace gender (femaleness, being A WOMAN) but men who want to claim male identity- I don't see them in gender discussions as often unless they are MRA's and total assholes.

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Wwith the concept of The Ma... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 3:51 PM | Posted, in reply to Nerpz's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Wwith the concept of The Matrix comes the Foucauldian concept of the Dominating Discourse. To be "invited" to have a conversation about x or y means that it is going to be framed by them. As Vija Kinski says in DeLillo's Cosmopolis, "There is no outside." As long as they get you to talk about it and vote about it, they do have you. What this post has done is display the "floating signs" acting as masks to dissemble, deny, affirm, etc to fool you. If you can't read the "masks" then you can't even begin to challenge them. I do hope many of you are aware of Kristen Stewart, who is challenging the Hollywood Matrix in her own individual way and is hated for it. Anyway I write about this a lot in a different way and I love this blog. And I always think of Lacan who in the case of the women senators might have said, "How do you know they are women?" There is sex. And then there is gender. Make up is what Judith Butler would say was/is "masquerade" and all that goes with that concept.

Did you see how Kristen Stewart said fug you to Summit and the whole "premiere" red carpet thing with her OBSCENE porno gown at the LA one. You want sex, here it is. Flash away at my ass. You aren't going to get any conversation from her, just some ass action in your fuggin face pap boys. Like Dominique Francon in Fountainhead who wears blaack dress and black hat with black veil to her wedding. Ayn Rand knew all about this shit.

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Arizona in 1998 saw all fiv... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 4:30 PM | Posted by thecobrasnose: | Reply

Arizona in 1998 saw all five of the top elected governmental offices (governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and secretary of public education) were held by women. I recall Official Feminists (official enough to be quoted on NPR, anyway) declining to name this a victory for their cause because the women did not uniformly align with traditional feminist causes. Some of them were even Republicans, which was, naturally, disqualifying. I still remember my relief at never having to take an Official Feminist seriously ever again.

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You know why women wear mak... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 5:36 PM | Posted by JB: | Reply

You know why women wear makeup and perfume?
Because they're ugly and they smell bad.
Heh.

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Nice article, but shit, you... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 10:43 PM | Posted by Simon: | Reply

Nice article, but shit, you should stop trying to write like Chuck Palahniuk and maybe more people would bother reading this as I wish they did...

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You know what..its not abou... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2013 11:04 PM | Posted, in reply to JB's comment, by Adellina: | Reply

You know what..its not about wearing or not wearing makeup/perfume..nor it is about being a woman or a man..it is about being human

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Maybe a typo? Seems there s... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 12:08 AM | Posted by Ben: | Reply

Maybe a typo? Seems there should be a 'don't' in here...

"My point isn't that women have legitimate gripes with the system, or that there isn't sexism still around, my point is that most of what you think is "feminism" is really a work, a gimmick, a marketing scheme"

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The mind tends to believe i... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 12:23 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The mind tends to believe in the intellectual shit you feed it with... Some feed it with religious/feminist/ shit some others feed it with knowledge and wisdom... Everything that happens is because of the shit that you feed on.
Wearing a make-up is in no way respecting oneself. It is demeaning of oneself unless you look like shit. As far as "American Masculinity" is concerned any level-headed/sane human won't shoot at another being unless he badly needs to save his own @$$. As for me I consider masculinity is in the dignity with which you should carry yourself along and the urge to excel by competing with the rest and not beheading/killing them to excel.

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Hon, that was a joke I hear... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 12:46 AM | Posted, in reply to Adellina's comment, by JB: | Reply

Hon, that was a joke I heard in sixth grade.
Forty years ago.
Can we work up a fund for a sense of humor graft here?
I SAID "heh."

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I surely must have got disl... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 3:19 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I surely must have got dislikes from those who took my comment too personally. :P

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My comment is unrelated to ... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 4:44 AM | Posted by Dee: | Reply

My comment is unrelated to this post, but I'd be interested in your take on Lance Armstrong's latest interview with Oprah.
Would he be classified as a psychopath or a narcissist?

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seriously,you're writing th... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 5:46 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

seriously,you're writing this shit while thousands of women all over the world are rising up, protesting in india (i wish they would in the US and europe, too), getting shot or jailed in russia, getting raped and blackmailed and fighting for survival and justice afterwards (often in vain, because male policmen and male judges don't think it's so bad), building networks, providing abortions, therapy, shelters, listening, writing books, staging theatre plays, running businesses, fighting for their fucking lives and much more. and you sit behind your computer and say "nah, these women, they don't have it so bad, otherwise they would rise up". have you ever seriously listened to someone who is traumatized by rape, no matter if woman or man? it is fucking hard to keep on living like that. why don't you go out and do something (for example, teach other men not to fucking rape in the first place?)

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seriously,you're writing th... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 5:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

seriously,you're writing this shit while thousands of women all over the world are rising up, protesting in india (i wish they would in the US and europe, too), getting shot or jailed in russia, getting raped and blackmailed and fighting for survival and justice afterwards (often in vain, because male policmen and male judges don't think it's so bad), building networks, providing abortions, therapy, shelters, listening, writing books, staging theatre plays, running businesses, fighting for their fucking lives and much more. and you sit behind your computer and say "nah, these women, they don't have it so bad, otherwise they would rise up". have you ever seriously listened to someone who is traumatized by rape, no matter if woman or man? it is fucking hard to keep on living like that. why don't you go out and do something (for example, teach other men not to fucking rape in the first place?)

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I knew a girl who was a sop... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 6:19 AM | Posted by mir: | Reply

I knew a girl who was a sophomore in college and her sister was a freshman. I went out with them and another guy once (one of her "best fiends" apparently). He put some date rape drug into her younger sister's drink(just for fun, he didn't intend to rape her as far as I know), she knew about it and all she did was find it funny. Granted, she's a very open-minded "let the boys be boys" girl. imagine the next time the boy isn't her friend. you can only be so open-minded before your brains fall out.

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There's a mitchell and webb... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 8:34 AM | Posted by Rookie: | Reply

There's a mitchell and webb sketch that kinda sums up much of what you're saying here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwrK-foCTaQ

I think the perfect line there is "now I'm free to live my life MY way," followed by a big tick. Of course its not freedom, not HER way and the approval is anonymous and external. I often think comedy is the only place you'll find any truth, probably because humor makes it tolerable. We say "it's so true!" then move on regardless.

Awesome article TLP, I love it. We're playing a pea and cups game and grabbing for the cups, not the peas.

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Someone didn't read the art... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 9:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Someone didn't read the article at all...

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I agree JD. I read stuff l... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 10:14 AM | Posted, in reply to JawDropped's comment, by BobNesbo: | Reply

I agree JD. I read stuff like this and want to post it to FB, but you know, the people who will read it, will read part of it, i.e. read only the sarcastic parts out of context, and I'll get hosed...

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Yeah, someone didn't read t... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 10:20 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by BobNesbo: | Reply

Yeah, someone didn't read the article. TLP essentially respects women, and is on the side of women who are raped. I think maybe you are all uppity because he might be showing you your way of doing it has been wrong.

And you must be a 20 something, since I can't imagine a way to (...teach other men not to fucking rape in the first place?) No one with extensive life experience would probably not post that...

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Yes, and while those women ... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 11:25 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Yes, and while those women in India are protesting, women in America are writing articles about how makeup makes women feel better. Hooray for progress, hooray for protests, hooray for women who are actually doing something. The fact that somewhere, there's someone with XX chromosomes attempting to do the right thing doesn't change the fact that there are a ton of XXs around the world who are stoning women for being promiscuous, slut-shaming, dismissing rape claims, etc etc etc.

I hate this reflexive "You're criticizing the way women act?! YOU MUST HATE WOMEN" attitude. If anyone's wondering where sexist attitudes come from, these types of defensive responses surely contribute. Accept some constructive criticism. It's not chauvinistic to point out female error. Women occasionally act in self-destructive and regressive ways, just like all other human beings on the planet.

For the record, I'm an XX chromosome haver. I love this article because it makes an incredible point: in the end, change is going to have to come about from women, not men. Women have the most to gain from change and the most to lose from things staying the same.

It sounds like you or someone you know may have been violated in this way, and that is fucked up and I'm sorry. It's because rape is so horrible that I think it's so important that women rise up. Saying "Men need to stop raping people" is facile: of course they ought to stop raping people, but they haven't stopped in thousands of years of human history. So women have to make them stop. We have to protect our own. The fact that some women in India are attempting to make this stop is great, but it doesn't negate any of the points in this article.

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Why is it that a boy dressi... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 11:30 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Why is it that a boy dressing like a girl gets written off as comedy but a girl dressing like a boy is seen as a sloppy dresser?

Why is there dressing like a 'boy' and a 'girl' in the first place?

Why is society? Why is world?

Brought to you by Whyception.

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I love this blog. Th... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 12:15 PM | Posted by PJ: | Reply


I love this blog. Thanks for this post.


On gender and the speculations about the author:

I'm a woman. In 1993 when I joined the internet I did it with a nickname most people thought was male. I had a child in late 1996 and when I mentioned it online a couple dozen friends flipped out, apologizing to me for having been my email/forum friend for years and not having realized I was a woman, assuring me they would have talked to me differently if they had known, not said certain things. I was astounded. Really? We weren't talking about having a romance together, so what would have been different? I really related to those friends. If it had been different, I probably wouldn't have, so much. I always related well to men. Not so well to other women. Now that I'm older (47) I have to say that by internet I've found more women I relate to, but the internet's big enough that's sure to happen eventually no matter how obscure one's profile.

Online friends and onlookers initially assumed I was a man (I'm told) because my "writing personality" is much more "masculine," in terms of how society seems to rate such things. Logical, judgmental, intellectual. It used to be far more aggressive and snarky but I've mellowed. Or just lost passion for some things perhaps. I've run various internet forums for a couple decades now and you can actually tell the gender ratio of participants, at least, by the style of communication, even if you were to remove names and obvious clues from the conversation, so there is probably something to the assumption and attribution of masculine /feminine communication. Although I would hold this is not a gender thing but a cultural thing that entrains the genders and is recognized by them, much like I believe that most actual prejudice I've encountered is less a racial thing than a cultural thing that is entraining the races and recognized-by race.

(Btw, for so-called masculine communication you'd need to visit bodybuilding forums. For the feminine, visit dieting forums. It's a sort of hilarious comparison. Those things are of course culture and ego effects, not true gender-based communication. We're not using RNA on the internet.)

I was astounded a few years ago to discover how many people actually do not fit into the fully 'male or female' categories. It's like this whole world of biology that I had no idea existed (the internet is so educational). I don't even know what to make of that. Except I think it must be kinda horrible for the people don't fit in those categories. Because they're fine however they are, I mean we are all what we are and so what, but they're definitely living in a culture that not only doesn't support them, it doesn't even realize they exist. I can't even imagine what implications that might have for one's social reality.

A lot of what this author says either I relate to or have previously said (pieces of) myself. And I'm a woman. So I'm not sure why everyone assumes the author must be a male. Perhaps both I and the author are products of identifying with the stronger cultural role so we 'think like men' although that very phrase seems ridiculously wrong for so many reasons. Or not. Maybe it's a guy, I have no idea.

I'm not sure the author's gender is important though. It may affect what they write (now I'm forced to use the plural rather than rendering the author an 'it') of course, but the validity or interest of a given point (or lack thereof) stands on its own, regardless of the reasons someone came up with it.

In fact when someone says "X just said that because they're a {man/woman}" I think: they just twisted the conversation away from the point itself, and onto a personal attack on the writer. If the topic has valid opposing points, make them. If one doesn't, and instead implies some issue on the writer's part is to blame for their having put an idea in print, then I have to figure the responder has no valid points to use for combat, and is emotionally upset about it. In a way it's actually the ultimate example of gender bias in action: that rather than responding to ideas presented, one responds to one's own assumption about the writer based on their (assumed) gender, instead.

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Hmm, let's see now, (final ... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 12:21 PM | Posted by DeNihilist: | Reply

Hmm, let's see now, (final paragraph)

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2012/07/obama-creates-a-terrorist-haven-in-mali.html

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I agree. When any critique ... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 12:28 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by PJ: | Reply

I agree. When any critique or even observation is made about women it tends to result in women suddenly ranting about how hateful the others are -- the response of a 5 year old -- which is vastly more destructive to the good of and representation of women than any man could be.

quote: Saying "Men need to stop raping people" is facile: of course they ought to stop raping people, but they haven't stopped in thousands of years of human history.

That's true, but that is partly due to cultural hysteria and overreactive response, in my view.

Date rape that happens in the middle of making out with someone at 1am is still wrong but it's not AS wrong as drugging someone for it, or tackling a stranger in parking lot, or coercing your secretary, and as long as culture reacts with knee-jerk broad-strokes to such issues, everyone including women will pull back from accusing and pursuing, because the events that follow seem too extreme.

The same goes for pedophilia. Touching a 16 year old's privates is wrong but not as wrong as if they're 7 and not as wrong as having actual sex with them, and as long as even feeling up a 13 going on 18 year old will get a man statutory rape prison time, his entire family -- including all its women -- are going to be protecting him. A little more sanity on the "spectrum" of sexual crimes, a little more "confidentiality and required counseling" as opposed to newspaper public humiliation and ruination and jail time, would go a long way toward making both men and women willing to pursue people for these crimes.

I might add that I've experienced both issues in my past, neither officially reported, and so these thoughts come in part from experience and related thinking -- although, as I said in a previous comment, one's ideas stand on their own merit regardless of one's reason for having them.

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PJ,You wrote:... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 1:01 PM | Posted, in reply to PJ's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

PJ,

You wrote:

I'm not sure the author's gender is important though.

It's not only not important, it's irrelevant if the reader is interested in considering the content of the essay.

On the other hand, Alone's gender is supremely relevant if you simply don't like what was written -- then the reader can dismiss the essay in its entirety through an ad hominem interpretation.

I've NEVER understood the obsession with Alone's gender. Which hammer is superior: one forged by a man, a woman, or a robot?

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Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Gold... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 1:52 PM | Posted by Z: | Reply

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. granted Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein a $13.3 million stock bonus for 2012, up 90 percent from a year earlier, as the bank’s shares and profit climbed.

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I'm not talking about India... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 5:14 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I'm not talking about India. In India, women are actually rising up (actually they're rising up in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as well as Pakistan) -- because they actually lack any sort of power. I'm talking about the US and the American "Women's lib" movement, which is run by women who are from fairly well off backgrounds, generally have multiple college degrees from prestegous universities and generally don't have to worry about the actual oppression like what happens in India or Pakistan or Afghanistan where going to school as a woman is a life-threatening activity. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. I'll admit I should have specified AMERICAN feminism, but what I wrote holds true for American feminists. It really doesn't matter much in America.

Want an example? Fine. American feminists love to complain that they get around 70% of a man's paycheck. Which is a problem. However, it ignores quite a bit. Men are far more likely to work longer hours, to take jobs requiring travel, or be willing to relocate for their job or for a promotion. Also, women in most cases, are the family's SECOND income. Women for the most part are not working to feed their families, they're working to supplement the male's income, and as such she works around HIS schedule and moves if HE gets a promotion. Before you get all excited, yes I know there are single mothers out there, and I think one income should support a family, but it's also not the norm for most families. So why isn't that more of a front burner issue? Because the women in question can quite often rely on hubby's income to pay rent and feed the kids and sock a little away for junior's college. It's not a big deal because it's not a survival need, it's simply a bunch of rich white women with graduate degrees from elite colleges whining that they don't get pay equity. If they needed it, they would find a way to earn it, instead, they publish a statistic and cry "poor us".

Compare that to places where women are in real danger. Consider the women taking real control of their lives by going to school in Pakistan. A real feminist girl in Pakistan fighting for actual power (literacy) was shot in the face in Pakistan. That's a real fight, and those women will not be satisfied with merely geting an honorary degree, they want literacy. They won't be satisfied with personal cab service in Saudi Arabia, they want to drive a real car. Do you think women in India are going to be satisfied with a symbolic end to sex slavery?

It's different in America precisely because we have it so good here. I'm a woman, I don't like the plastic feminists because they are basicly in a make-believe kind of world where they're "oppressed" even though they live better than 95% of the planet. They aren't fighting for those brownskins mostly because in order to have the real change that would make women's lives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or India, you'd have to weaken American power in favor of a UN strong enough to do something, and that would mean losing their (derived) power that they get for having married into upper class families that directly benefit from the Matrix.

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why do you hate wo... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 5:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

why do you hate women? It's in every word you write. I feel like I'm being slapped around, which makes it hard to imagine what your real points are.

You feel like you're being slapped around, because TLPs words reflect those of your inner critic; making them real.

Someone shows you your reflection, and you use it to put makeup on.
What does that say about you?

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I was astounded a few ye... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 5:57 PM | Posted, in reply to PJ's comment, by Woman: | Reply

I was astounded a few years ago to discover how many people actually do not fit into the fully 'male or female' categories.

PJ,

I was just having a conversation about that very subject! I read something written by a transgendered man (F->M) recently, but to me he still sounded like a female.

Then again I've read stuff by (regular, heterosexual) women that sounded 100% male.

PS. That said, I'd bet everything I have on the doc being male. The speculation about his gender was amusing at first but now it's getting tiring...

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"Why don't they just rise u... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 6:07 PM | Posted by Dystopia Max: | Reply

"Why don't they just rise up?"

Because...they're actually bone-deep aware of their inferiority at running things, even though they don't like to admit it?

Because they know even their "oppressors" follow laws and any revolt by their compatriots would quickly turn lawless?

Because they have it pretty good as is?

Because the ones smart enough to grasp all the nuances can grasp all the consequences and decide NOT to rise up?

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Because the ones smart e... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 6:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Dystopia Max's comment, by Woman: | Reply

Because the ones smart enough to grasp all the nuances can grasp all the consequences and decide NOT to rise up?

I completely understand what you're saying, but still relieved the suffragettes and every other group of people who fought with blood, sweat and tears to change the lot of future generations didn't think this way.

Quite grateful really.

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I always said in some situa... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 6:17 PM | Posted by PJ: | Reply

I always said in some situations I'd rather be a slave in the parlor than 'better red than dead.' At least in the former way, I can be best positioned to help others, possibly more trusted to escape, and survive hopefully with some lack of misery. The latter way, I'm just beaten and then dead.

When people talk about rising up I think that is a lot of it. The choice is not "struggle and free your people." The choice is "struggle and be miserable or dead." Maybe enough dead people and time together will result in your people freed. Maybe. Or stomped more firmly into the ground. But you're still dead. So a lot of the fear, I think is a valid fear, of the consequences of 'rising up.'

And in the USA, I think there's a more pervasive and oddly, perhaps even more destructive fear: that it just doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how many people, how much media, you can bring to rallies or even to grassroots bills. It's not gonna matter much. And no grassroots issue of import will have funds to outspend lobbyists for corps likely affected and on the other side. Sure, register to vote. Like it matters. Everyone hated Bush but O's done vastly worse things x3 in his time and oddly despite articles even in NYT and such it's like nobody's worrying about it. Maybe because if you can't DO anything about it, you might as well just figure you don't matter to it, your voice doesn't matter to it, your vote doesn't matter to what you truly want, so why bother. Why rise up?

Everything's got to have a justification. Sometimes 'the moral of it' is enough. Sometimes, especially if you have family, it's not. I don't see fear of rising up as being a moral backbone failing or something. I see it as being, often, a practical concern.

Of course, the fear of not wearing makeup is not the same as the fear of insisting on women's schooling in Saudi...

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There are a lot of invisibl... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 6:45 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

There are a lot of invisible limits put on women's advancement. Some of them are of their own making, or at least aspects of life to which they acquiesce. Others are not so much so. I would find it very interesting if the authorities that dwelleth in the land of psychiatry were to really promote a standard for women's health, rather than insisting on female pathology. What if they said to women, "Oh, well, you know, you seem to be oppressed. How about some reality testing? It might be one way to discover what parts of the oppressive circumstances are your own and what belongs to other people?"

I guess such an invitation could be construed as yet another level of oppression, and in certain circumstances, that may well be true. But, there is a lot of pleasure in reality testing. We did it as kids until we were ordered not to continue our own experiments with the world, but instead adapt and conform.

Reality testing can be the ultimate, most pleasurable thing to do.

But psychiatry itself has traditionally put up a railing that has prevented women from testing too much reality. Isn't a woman who does that considered to embody what it means to be "insane"? She is refusing to grow up to accept her socially allotted position. She wants her childhood to go on, and on, and on.

The same principle applies to men, although to a lesser extent, since they are deemed less fragile than women, and therefore seem to have less to lose by testing reality for themselves. Bear Grylls gets a lot of kudos for his adventurism, but a female counterpart would probably not so much.

A female Bear Grylls, who threw off her makeup and went wild would very probably be accused of the following:

1. Exhibitionism

2. Thinking she is male (gender identity disorder)

3. Escapism

4. Masochism

5. Social disruption (depending on how 19th Century we get)

6. etc.

In fact, she would seem to have dropped from her relatively good position in society to become a moron.

Consequently, it would seem, a lot of feminism has to be bourgeois feminism, aspiring to climb higher up the social ladder by accepting most of the existing social values, including those of traditional femininity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMDtCXSlbPA


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A feminist friend noted tha... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 7:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

A feminist friend noted that TLP comes off as a feminist, since only a true feminist would think to blame the women who were there for not intervening.

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You made a lot of points th... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2013 8:10 PM | Posted by JohnJ: | Reply

You made a lot of points that are going to take time to digest, but I wanted to note that I like the balance of tone. It doesn't "sound" over-edited like the last couple of articles, which I know actually means you edited the hell out of it, and still has enough sarcasm and authority to hold the attention.

It was a lot of ground to cover, but you kept it compelling.

When's the book coming out?

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Does anyone commenting here... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 12:36 AM | Posted by sara s.: | Reply

Does anyone commenting here actually believe the author of this blog is a psychiatrist?

I don't !!!

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I don't either. Having been... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 12:45 AM | Posted, in reply to sara s.'s comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

I don't either. Having been a psychoanalyst for almost 25 years I would say the narcissistic lingo is down pretty pat in sound bites. The knowledge of "masking" is Lacan but not Lacan with any very deep understanding. If you read Diane Rubenstein's This Is Not A President she does "masquerade" in spades with Hillary. There is no way you can read that chapter without having a clear understanding and many laughs along the way. Rubenstein teaches at Cornell and she knows Butler and all the rest of them.

Some of the understanding is in this post, but it is a mish mash and the style does not reflect that kind of knowing. Nice catch by the way. I just kind of gave up after one try as the commentors were all over the place. I must prefer twitter.I am bored with people's projections from their own baggage. Get thee to a couch and pay to do it.

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Maybe you can't put togethe... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 12:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by sara s.: | Reply

Maybe you can't put together the argument because it is victim blaming?
Really, don't take this article seriously just cause the author can write well enough to twist messed-up ideas into a seemingly sound argument. I seriously doubt the author of this blog is any more than a well read person that likes to get a reaction out of people.

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I think it's a well written... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 12:56 AM | Posted by abbeysbooks: | Reply

I think it's a well written post that needed saying. But make-up falls into Judith Butler's province of masquerade. Victim blaming is just this thing where everyone has been turned into a victim about almost everything. It has become so widely used that it is meaningless. Like saying fuck. It's a sound bite. A ready-made.

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Psychoanalyst?You've... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 1:56 AM | Posted, in reply to abbeysbooks's comment, by Dee: | Reply

Psychoanalyst?
You've said it all.
The psychoanalytic approach should have been made extinct decades ago. Not only has it contributed to propagating myths, but it only exists to maintain the name of Freud and his questionable approach.

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"I must prefer twitter."</p... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 2:28 AM | Posted by PJ: | Reply

"I must prefer twitter."

Good god. By all means go find it, instead.

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It's always easy to condemn... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 2:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Dee's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

It's always easy to condemn something you haven't experienced. But I have read Foucault on it. And of course Zizek is an analyst, a Lacanian one. It's a valuable way to have to look at things.

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The atmosphere there is bet... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 2:35 AM | Posted, in reply to PJ's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

The atmosphere there is better. The comment boards are full of anger and hate.

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I'm pretty sure he also ask... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 4:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm pretty sure he also asked why women don't literally band up and beat rapists. Also, women are banded up more than ever, they have power, but they are using their power for stuff that is not in their best interest

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maybe because men who are p... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 4:54 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

maybe because men who are proud of being men don't engage in "gender discussion"?

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The two web sites: (1) Th... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 1:02 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

The two web sites: (1) The Roanoke Colony wikipedia (2) Caroll A. Deering wikipedia. The two web sites relate unusual mysterious disappearances of people from two separate different incidents. One in the mid 1580s, the second one in 1921. Both incidents occured near Cape Hatteras North Carolina on the North Carolina coast. Possibly less than fifty miles from each other's locales where the people disappeared within each locale and within and as the unique historical events they were, as such,that comprised each occurrence.Folkore states the mysterious spiritual forces of the Bermuda Triangle swept the Roanoke colonists that inhabited the near outerbanks regions of North Carolina, as well as the crew members of the Maine company built 20th century schooner, the Carroll Deering---the Bermuda Triangle swept these people into the spiritual world for good never to return to earth again. A quote from the Caroll Deering wikipedia article: 'Carroll A. Deering was a five masted commercial schooner found run aground off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in 1921. its crew mysteriously missing. The Deering is one of the most written about maritime mysteries in history, with claims that it was victim of the Bermuda Traingle although the evidence points towards a mutiny or possible piracy." End quote. Interestingly the Caroll Deering was found ashore near Buxton N.C. and the first investigators found an empty ship with all items and clothes even food cooking on the stove---all these items were in order with no signs of scuffle or other disorderly destructive actions within the ship. The Lost Colony items too of the encampment were found undisturbed also for the most part. Both wikipedia articles carries much more information on the the two occurrences that are similar in a lot of regards.

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I disagree. Women are good... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 7:14 PM | Posted, in reply to Dystopia Max's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I disagree. Women are good at running things. They generally are the only ones holding the family together while working a job on the side. If you can run a house, you can figure out how to run most social institutions.

It's about NEED. Women in the US don't NEED to run things. And as such it's likely easier to simply delegate the task of running society to the men rather than take the stress on for yourself. Look at the pictures of the president after 4 years, the stress of running the nation ages them about 20 years. Why bother if you can get the man to do what you want by virtue of being married to him. You get a lot of power by being at the president's side. You don't think Michelle has influence equal to the Secretary of State? Bull, if anything she has more. She has private access to the most powerful man on the planet for longer than most people on the planet, as well as having an emotional connection to him that makes her word worth a lot more than other people he talks to all day. She can talk him into things that no other person on the planet could, and she doesn't need to be accountable to anyone else. That's more power than Vladimir Putin has with the president and he has a standing army and nukes. Why bother with the stress of working your way into a powerful position when you can marry power and get them to do what you want without breaking a sweat.

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Which women are good at run... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 9:38 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Which women are good at running things? All of them? Which things?

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Life isn't about 'not break... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 10:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Life isn't about 'not breaking a sweat'. One should strive to accomplish something, to live and to achieve. No one needs to run anything, but some people choose to try.

The good news is, it doesn't matter whether you think women ought to 'run things', any more than it matters whether the commenters who think women are naturally inferior at...whatever. Women who are going to be successful don't need your permission or approval, and the women who need approval and permission were never going to be anything anyway.

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Yawn.... (Below threshold)

January 19, 2013 11:21 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Yawn.

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1.) Can you deconstruct th... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 4:07 AM | Posted by Hello: | Reply

1.) Can you deconstruct this music video? I'm sure I would find something useful from your analysis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlyXNRrsk4A


2.) What happened to pastabagel? Will I never see a post from him again? I'm deeply saddened if that's the case. I hope he is okay.

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"If you can run a house, yo... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 5:57 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"If you can run a house, you can figure out how to run most social institutions."

stupidity overload

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"Whereas women often don't ... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 6:52 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Whereas women often don't like to keep score of who is weak and who needed help and who contributed what."

stupidity giga-explosion

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Goodness, a little mascara ... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 4:31 PM | Posted by BPLadybug: | Reply

Goodness, a little mascara and lipstick merely makes me feel more polished, put together. It is not about sexuality or power. Combing my hair also makes me feel ready to face the day. So does brushing my teeth and putting on a real bra. There is a huge difference between simple grooming and being fully 'made up'.

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Ability has nothing to do w... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 6:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Ability has nothing to do with it. What I'm pointing out is that unlike other American minorities, women are in a position where they can get power without needing to fight for it, which is why unlike most other groups, there's no real push to get real power. If you can have power by sexing the President, it doesn't matter if you actually become the president. If you can influence the CEO of Goldman Sachs the same way, then you don't need to scrape and claw your way into power, you don't need to seek the jobs that grant real power, etc. Because you have much easier routes to getting the things that power provides.

I think any woman of average intelligence could run most companies and political institutions. Cathrine the Great could run Russia as an absolute dictator -- even though she wasn't even Russian (she was German). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_the_Great So if a woman can do that, don't tell me a modern woman couldn't run America.

But ability is only a part of the picture here. What I think the picture shows is that women (American women anyway) are not oppressed enough to need to take over and thus change the system. If it were necessary, it would be obvious by the choices that women are making. Women need power in Pakistan, so you have girls as young as 12 risking their lives to get an education which leads to power. A 12 year old got shot in the face for wanting the power that comes with literacy in Pakistan. Women in Saudi Arabia drove illegally -- they didn't ask first, they didn't march on Rydiah seeking for a law that would make it OK, they just got in the car and drove. Compare that to any number of "protests" by people who actively benefit from the Matrix. Women are testifying in Congress for free birth control -- and their star was a graduate student attending Georgetown, a private college. In other words, the best argument the had for "give us free birth control" is an upper middle class woman in a private university working on a graduate degree. If it was a need, they might have bothered to find a woman who wasn't upper class, wasn't attending a private college, and certainly one that wasn't working on a Master's in liberal arts. Everything about that picture screams "we aren't serious". If they wanted to make that kind of case, they would have found a woman who was a single mother and worked for an hourly wage. Problem being that if they did that, the case might make sense. A poor woman living paycheck to paycheck can afford neither pregnancy nor birth control, so it would be easy to point to such a thing and say "see, people need this".

I think the same is true of Occupy Wall Street. The reason that it never went anywhere is that it never represented a real need. The kids protesting were the children of the elites. They had enough money to not need to work on school breaks or after classes, so they had time to protest. Which they sort of did, if drum circles count as a protest. It's a protest in favor of slightly better positions by people who have gotten so much from the Matrix that the idea of changing the Matrix is literally unthinkable. The Matrix is why they have the leisure time to protest the Matrix. Daddy was a rich guy because of the Matrix, and he bought them a degree at some private university, and will get them a high paying job high up in the Matrix. So when they protest, they do it by posting stupid notes about themselves on Twitter and having a campout with a big drum circle. Real protests would be something like what happened in Greece -- you know where not being able to find a job means no food. Amazing how the threat of hunger focuses the brain on results.

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My favorite part about this... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 6:39 PM | Posted, in reply to BPLadybug's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

My favorite part about this comment is the part where you equate putting on mascara with brushing your teeth. What, will my eyelashes fall out if I don't apply mascara every day? Am I a disgusting slob for not wearing it?

Sometimes I wear makeup, and mostly I don't, and although it changes the way I look, I mostly feel the same way about myself no matter what I'm wearing.

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"Nobody in the world, nobod... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 7:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them." Assata Shakur

(found it on social networks, can't guarantee she really said so)

but my intuition whispers: appealing to the moral sense of those oppressing means asking for mercy, which is the clearest signal for both sides where the power is.

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Interesting read, as always... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 7:49 PM | Posted by 1: | Reply

Interesting read, as always, but why don't you have a problem with Django's simultaneous portrayal as hero and blatant racist?
Instead of decrying violence and tyranny as abstractions (remember it was Africans who sold other Africans to to Americans), he decries "White People", All of the White People. He explicitly states he loves killing White People, he explicitly kills DiCaprio's Wife-- why?-- he explicitly kills those lower-class mining workers whom the system forced into working with slavery.

Imagine if there were a movie about the horribleness Native Americans faced against Europeans, but the native protagonist butchers innocent Europeans instead... [continued]

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[continued from above] Hell... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 7:49 PM | Posted by 1: | Reply

[continued from above] Hell, why the fuck didn't you relate how everybody in the theater clapped when the white woman was killed (implication of evil) but NO ONE cares that she was presumedly forced into everything ( Suffragism) didn't exist yet). Django's murder of a disenfranchised women is as bad if not worse than the slavery he experienced.

God, psychiatrist, you're slacking.

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Freedom and liberation are ... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2013 10:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Freedom and liberation are two different concepts. You are confusing them.

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People asking how they can ... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 2:57 AM | Posted by badger: | Reply

People asking how they can change the system: the first, and most important, act is to simply be aware of the system and how it shapes your goals, your thoughts, your ideas, your perceptions, your language. Asking how to change the system isn't the right question. Once you're aware of the system, you are free, psychologically, to make your own decisions. Some of those decisions will seem to go along with the system, some of them will seem to go against it. But in all cases you will be making them with a clear mind and a clear conscience, without any shame (or other bad thoughts/emotions) due to whatever-the-system-has-built-into-you. I think that this is all that can be asked of any individual. The system is too big to be changed much directly, but if a number of people start independently making decisions which are essentially orthogonal to the system, there is a potential for change, but it will not be directed change, or change that can be predicted. That's the thing about orthogonality, it doesn't fit in the existing paradigms.

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But in truth when populatio... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 4:10 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

But in truth when populations have high quantities of abusive, angry, violent, raging, depressive, chemically dependant men-- I have to ask-- who is raising these men, what the fuck is happening in their lives, and why are they so miserable and disturbed?

This.

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of course, only a true man-... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 4:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

of course, only a true man-hating feminist wouldn't expect anything from the men present. how many girls are even supposed to have been there? were they asked why they didn't intervene? were they held back, forced to watch? these are athletes you're talking about, i imagine them being physically intimidating.
but oh yeah, it must be the fault of american feminism. because every good american college girl is a feminist. lol.
the article talks about "women" and "feminism" but it has gotten quite clear, that you're talking about the US. so much for narcicissm.

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"these are athletes you're ... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 5:16 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"these are athletes you're talking about, i imagine them being physically intimidating." so if a rapist is physically intimidating, girls should do nothing to protect one of their own- just run home and write a scathing post about how the patriarchal culture promotes raping. I think you missed the point anyway

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Just started reading your s... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 8:33 AM | Posted by Brandon S.: | Reply

Just started reading your site a couple weeks ago. I don't think I'm ever going to stop now. This is probably the only blog on the web that can talk about Django Unchained and women's makeup in the same sentence and still be coherent.

I had a friend who used to love makeup until her boyfriend told her that he didn't like her with makeup on because her natural beauty was more attractive. She always thought this was very sweet, but to me it always seemed perverse. Was her natural beauty like Superman, and makeup her Kryptonite? Seemed more insulting than anything that he would say she's MORE beautiful without makeup, as if her beauty to him was dependent on so transient a thing.

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What you are saying is just... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 9:50 AM | Posted, in reply to badger's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

What you are saying is just raise your consciousness. If you were correct then Foucault would not have spent his life detailing this subject. analyzing the Grid, the Matrix as it is called here without referring to Foucault's work. And Foucault is more revolutionary than anyone here commenting as he has explicitly outlined how you do resist, and how important it is to do so, how important Fearless Speech" is.

The problem with all comment boards is that people comment who haven't seriously studied what they are commenting upon. Go read Discipline and Punish, Madness and Civilization, The History of Sexuality, Judith Butler on masquerade (make -up) and some of the wonderful work being done on these topics. The Last Psychiatrist touches on all this but is stuck in the psychological Dominating Discourse of Psychology and Narcissism. Not insignificant but not effective either.

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"I have to ask: Is there an... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 11:15 AM | Posted, in reply to VA's comment, by why?: | Reply

"I have to ask: Is there anything we can do to stop the gears of the machine? Or are we only limited to ourselves and should focus on improving ourselves in every way possible?"

In honesty, no. The last time a group of people completely rejected the current system was the US Revolution. And even then, the Founders found out they could not reject the entire system, but were forced to take it on to remain 'free'. The true power players are doing a wonderful job of obscuring themselves this time. If you wanted to revolt, and had 100 million people to revolt with, who would you kill? What has happened is the system has re roped the US in, and this time the hooks are so deep we'd have to end up killing half the country to truly be free, and we'd all risk killing the wrong half and might still be in slavery at the end. The only way to true freedom at this point is rejecting everything, but can you hunt, kill, prepare and cook food on your own? Of course not. You might be able to learn, but many people are even beyond that. All of us have become so entangled that seeing an actual way out is almost impossible.

And how can you improve yourself? To what standards would that improvement be measured? Can anyone find a standard that hasn't been tainted by this machine?

But technology itself could be a way out. That is why the internet is so feared, and 'copyright' is trying to be foisted on everyone for everything. We might have an exist strategy with 3d printers, and that type of tech. Or we might just be enslaved even more.

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The questions you are askin... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 12:05 PM | Posted, in reply to why?'s comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

The questions you are asking have been answered by Foucault. American universities are embracing continental Philosophy, but there are distinctly American issues of tenure and teaching and research jobs fitting for a PhD. These are shrinking. So there are not so many original thinkers out there but those who are rehashing the same old same old.

First you have to understand power. Power is in a relation with knowledge. It is power/knowledge. The two can never be separated. You cannot hold power, take it, give it away, bestow it, etc. Each feeds the other and they are wedded. They are the Grid. The Matrix. That is what the Matrix is. BUT wherever there is power/knowledge, there is resistance. The strategy is to find your local weak spot and lean on it. OR to address the greatest issue of your time. In our case it is surveillance and confinement. By splitting up resistance into political fights, thinking in terms of revolution which falls in the classic Hegelian dialectical Dominating Discourse only cements you in the grid deeper. If you ever get this far then go on to Jean Baudrillard in his book Forget Foucault. This is where Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis comes in. If you can read and understand that 200 page novel, you will have it. Cronenberg did not so don't bother with the movie. Be very aware of Zizek and all he writes and says and does.

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I like the part where the a... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 3:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I like the part where the author says [someone] misses the point, and actually its: [drum roll...] narcissism.

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Wow. Yes.... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 5:48 PM | Posted by awesomerobot: | Reply

Wow. Yes.

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Wow. This is pretty fucked ... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 7:09 PM | Posted by Elizabeth: | Reply

Wow. This is pretty fucked up. Aside from the insightful commentary on body modification in service of femininity, this is just unfortunate and wrong. Also, it might help if you used fewer instead of less when you meant fewer.

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<a href="http://www.youtube... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 7:27 PM | Posted, in reply to why?'s comment, by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awEvWxNftig

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The post is really Judith B... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 7:31 PM | Posted, in reply to Elizabeth's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

The post is really Judith Butler's work on feminine masquerade. One of the reasons to come out of her work is that masquerade deflects masculine aggression. It does. Gender Trouble is one of Butler's books among many on similar topics. Gender issues, gender being socially constructed, while sex is biological. The French do not have two words for this as we do in English. The Last Psychiatrist has framed it in psychological Discourse, so it is drawn out and full of psychoanalytical and psychological terminology like narcissism etc. It sounds cool and is very interpretive enticing discussion on into the next month of Sundays. Try Butler instead if you are interested in this subject of masquerade. It goes much deeper than just make up.

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Oh for fucks sake. So much ... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 9:32 PM | Posted by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Oh for fucks sake. So much wrong it's not worth it. For one, giving FluffPo credit. You might as well call the lifetime movie channel a feminist propaganda tool.

Fucking not even worth debating shit this stupid.

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Fuck you, and fuck the hors... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2013 11:56 PM | Posted by hahahahahahafuckyou: | Reply

Fuck you, and fuck the horse you rode in on, you sexist piece of human garbage.

And fuck everyone who likes this too, you misogynistic shitlickers.

Oh, and you're all stupid and don't understand how basic facts and numbers work. Stay in school, kids! You dumb sister fucking redneck shits.

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oh, sorry but zizek is quit... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 3:51 AM | Posted, in reply to abbeysbooks's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

oh, sorry but zizek is quite useless suggestion... he contradicts himself way too often, is tangeled in his own "ideologies" and even though he is a very good observer, he is too quick to come with conclusions which often do not lack his personal biasis... too much in love with his mind to avoid color blindness

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O Sorry you missed the poin... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 4:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

O Sorry you missed the point. When you are in Zizek's presence you are witnessing a truly original mind at work. He is creatively thinking out a problem before your ears. He does not PRODUCE a hard and fast theory of anything, only a new way of thinking about it. and no he is not tangled in ideologies as he deconstructs them. He is uncomfortable. Now Foucault feels like the inside of your mind just got scoured with steel wool and reordered. Everything is still there, but everything is in a place where it should be. Baudrillard comes along and blows up Foucault by taking him farther and further that he ever had a mind to go. But if you read Zizek, say his new Hegel book, you will not feel the same. It is a very difficult book and demands a wide reading background for resonance. Women love him because he is more a feminist than the other two I mentioned. The Last Psychiatrist suffers from not really being "into" continental philosophy.

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You're a really infuriating... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 6:53 AM | Posted by Dan: | Reply

You're a really infuriating writer, TLP. So much of what you write is insightful and brilliant, and yet you ask that we take so much on assumption, and make so many completely unverified and downright illogical assertions which we are forced to take as fact for the rest of your arguments to add up.

Also interesting that you reference Tarantino here. Like him, you need a really good editor.

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I don't know if we specific... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 9:29 AM | Posted, in reply to badger's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I don't know if we specifically can change the system. Let's be real here. We Americans are the global 1%, and frankly if you're a middle class or higher white American, you are in the 0.1% range. We are the system. Wanna know why air polution in China is so bad that a fire went unnoticed? We did that, because we A) are too special to make those trinkets, thus we outsourced the jobs to China along with the air pollutions, and B) we refuse to pay a higher premium for the luxury of a safe workplace for the Chinese slaves who make that stuff. Wanna know why sex slavery is still a thing in India -- we would rather have cheap Indian labor than worry about the plight of actual Indians.

The first step is to see that. And the second step is to realize that you don't actually want it to change. In fact the more you protest the less you actually care. Most of the stuff we do is about easing our feelings of guilt, not making life actually better. If we wanted to make life better, we would stop trading with countries that are dictatorships, who don't respect human rights, who exploit people, and so on. Instead, we do little feel good things, buy specialty mints that supposedly feed the hungry or protect the rainforest, or buy a few scattered "fair trade" goods. Makes you feel good about being a slaveowner when you throw a few crumbs to the slaves. But it won't change because we've shut most people out of the possibility of power, and those who have power are benefitting from said power and so invested in the Matrix that they don't give a fuck about the people at the bottom.

That's why overthrowing the Matrix is a failed project from this end. We won't change the system, we'll tweak it. It's working just the way we want it to. America and NATO allies uber alles, with special favors for countries that joined the Matrix and adopted Matrix culture (ie Japan and Korea) and screw the rest of them. Which is of course why nobody in the US cares about international news -- our armies and economic power will keep the slaves in line.

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I like the term Croatan, ... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 12:57 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

I like the term Croatan, used over the picture on the incoming women's congressional group. Croatan is an Indian tribe, most likely inhabiting the outerbanks of the North Carolina that potentially were involved in the disappearance of the Roanoke COlongy in the mid 1580's; between 1584-1587. There whereabouts remaing a mystery today, over 400 years later. In anycase keeping up the issue of mysterious disappearances, the interesting case of the largest ship in U.S. Navy in 1918 disappeared in the Bermuda Triange between March 4-10 1918, the ship was called the USS Cyclops (AC-4). The following wikipedia article: USS Cyclops (AC-4) related the following information on this unusual disappearance. Quote: "USS Cyclops (AC-4) was one of the four Proteus-class colliers built for the United states Navy several years before World War I....THe loss of the ship and 306 crew and passengers without a trace within the area known as the Bermuda Trianglesometime after 4 March 1918 remains the single largest loss of life in the U.S. Naval Hisotry not direcetly related to combat." End quote. The article went on to state 'the Naval History & Heritage Command' related the Cyclops ---probably sank in an unexpected storm" but the cause is unknown. The wikipedia article carries a picture of the ship sitting in the Hudson River. The ship left Rio de Janerio on February 16, entered Bahai - February 20, one notable sailor on board the Cyclops was the African American mess attendent Lewis H. Hardwick. Lewis Hardwick was the father of Herbert Lewis Hardwick, known as the "The cocoa kid" - African puerto Rico welterweight boxer who won the world colored welterweight and middlweight boxing championsships. He boxed in the 1930s and 1940s.

The Cyclops sister ships: The Nereus and PRoteus also vanished in the north Atlantic during World War II. They were transporting heavy loads of mettallic ore, a cargo similar to the Cyclops load when the cyclops disappeared. This information suggests structural defiencies in the ship's construction could have caused the Cyclops and her sister ships to sink, perhaps.
In anycase, the interesting trait of the name Cyclops is that cyclops is an ancient Greek mythological being that has an eye in the middle of its forehead. This eye in the middle of the forehead is also similar to the tisra til, a spiritual eye that exists in the middle of the human forehead and in certain religions, especially the religion Ecaknkar, the tisra til or this spiritual eye of the forehead, can transport the soul or rather the soul, as such, known as the genuine essence of a human being, into the spiritual worlds. Such an action makes a separation of the physical nature of the molecular world around us---separating the person's essence or soul 'with and /into' the spiritual world. The Greek mythical being the cyclops possesses an eye in the middle forehead in the same location as the spiritual eye, the latter also known as the tisra til.
Maybe the congressional women in the above article can form a committe to launch a technological search and find mission in the Bremuda traingle Atlantic ocean waters in order to find the undersea wreckages of this vessels, since the technology is so advanced today to find such items in the undersea domains of the off east coast U.S.

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One more followup on the ... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 3:32 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

One more followup on the previous Jan 22, 2013 post on the USS Cyclops. THis post adresses the sister ships, also colliers, of the USS Cyclops: The USS Nereus and The USS Proteus that disappeared within 45 days of each other at the end of 1941, that is around December 1941. The wikipedia rticle USS Nereus (AC-10)_ listed the following information: "USS Nereus (AC-10) was one of four proteus-class colliers built for the United States Navy during World War I. Named for Nereus the Greek acquatic deity from Greek mythology. Nereus was laid down on 4 December 1911 and launched on April 26 1913." The information continues: "Nereus was lost at sea sometime after 10 December 1941 while steaming from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands (along the same route her sister ship, Cyclops had disappeared) with ore destined to be transferred to a allied aircraft carrier. Nereus operated out of Montreal carrying bauxite from the Carribean to aluminum plants in U.S. and Canada." End of information from the wikipedia article.

The web site: "Gallery: Lost in the Bermuda Trianlge" Remy Meline , LIvescience Date: 21 JUly 2011 carries the following information: "USS Nereus was lost at sea sometime after December 10, 1941 as it made its way to Portland Maine from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. It disappeared with a crew of 61 along the same route its sister ship, the USS Proteus had vanished from the previous month." End quote. All three colliers, with Greek mytholigcal names vanished mysteriously without a single speck of any molecular evidence of either the ships or the crew members existing today. The whereabouts of ship and crew of the three colliers is still not known.

A futher interesting description of the Cyclops captain George Worsley is contained in the wikipdeia article on the USS Cyclops. He evidently was an alchoholic that given to overbearing and at times cruel actions and behaviors to the ship's crew. He would curse and berate certain sailors, and at one time chased an ensign around the cabin with a pistol. Also he could be found steering the ship in a most drunken state, in his long underwear and a bowler hat, zig zagging through the ocean lanes at night. Another web site information stated that the USS Cyclops fateful trip that led to its vansihing---on board were two U.S. Sailors in much trouble and were being transported for eventual execution. I guess Captainn George Worsley could have steered the ship--- with them as well as a U.S. ambassador from Brazil? who also was on board the Cyclops,---into the realms of eternity with bowler hat on in his pajamas, with a bottle of whiskey in one hand. The Hugh Hefner of the Bermuda Triangle, perhaps, Worsley tended to resemble in a very vague manner. He also ran a bar in San Francisco. In anycase back to the picture of the incoming women in congress, with the word croatan, I wonder if the picture relates the male world is vansihing mysteriously in Washington. Gotta check what the Croatans are doing these days. but I think they disappeared too some centuries back.

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I left out one other inte... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 4:07 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

I left out one other interesting item on the previous Harry Horton post centering on the USS Nereus, USS Proteus, and a personality profile of the USS Cyclops captain, George Worsely. The following: "from wikipedia: "USS Proteus (AC-9)" October 31, 1911 USS Proteus (AC-9) was laid down. *Her third sister ship Jupiter, was converted into the very first U.S. aircraft carrier renamed Langely." There is some prominent facets surrounding these ships, the Cyclops, Proteus, Nereus and now the Jupiter. Not only their disappearances, but the Cyclops was the largest U.S. Navy ship during the pre - World War I era, and the Jupiter was converted to the first U.S. aricraft carrier. So the Jupiter was a significant transition ship, in that,---- the Jupiter embarked the creation of a major onset class of U.S. Navy vessels, ----the aircraft carrier. Today the aricraft carriers have thoroughly extinguished the necessity of battle ships, since there are no U.S. Battleships in operation in the U.S. Navy---this ship was mainstay in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was used extensively for support on land military operations. In fact the last U.S. battleship in operation went out of service within the last 18 months. From all the vanishings of these colliers, the third sister ship of the three colliers: Nereus, Proteus and Cyclops: the Jupiter,--the Jupiter was converted into another type of naval vessel: the aircraft carrier. All four ships had Greek mythological names. Reminds me of the Greek myth Narcissus who became or was involved with another deity who became an echo in the hills of Greece. A converting into an echo, another subsequent being, that is, as the myth related. And here the USS Jupiter becomes an aircraft carrier, converting over to an aircraft carrier. An action like 'the ancient Greek being' who became an echo. in a way of speaking.
Additionally, the Jupiter was named the Langley when the Jupiter became an aircraft carrier. I wonder if that name Langley, is the same name for the CIA headquarters in Washington. The CIA headquarters building: Langley. More research on that one for further elucidation, but no major relevance to this article post.

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Correct. It can't be tweake... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 4:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Correct. It can't be tweaked or changed because it is "irreversible" because it is in the Order of Production. (Baudrillard)

DeLillo's novel Cosmopolis addressed this reading through Rand and Baudrillard: The system must itself suicide. Implode. Cronenberg completely missed this in his movie which no one understood because he didn't understand it. http://cosmopolisfilm2.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-07-05T12:23:00-07:00&max-results=7 DeLillo and Ayn Rand, Eric Packer and Francisco D'Anconia

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George Carlin lives!... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2013 8:34 PM | Posted by Gaelan: | Reply

George Carlin lives!

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I agree with you re: first ... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 12:28 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by badger: | Reply

I agree with you re: first and second steps. But I disagree with pretty much everything else you wrote. You seem stuck in the very guilt/self-hatred that you're seemingly already aware of. You seem fixated on how much suffering there is in the world, and how it's all "our" fault. Fact is, there is less suffering at this point in history than there ever has been in the past. "Our" ancestors went through all the same crap, i.e. industrialization, factories, pollution. Look at England, read some Dickens. It was a shitty life for a whole lot of people. And outside of a few civilized areas, even 300 years ago most people lived lives of peasants, death always a blade or a drought away.

At this point, we have largely eliminated hunger. Yes, there are remaining pockets, but for the most part, people around the world are not starving. For probably the first time in the existence of humanity. I could go on, with medicines, technology, etc. and how the life of an average Worlder today (let's take the 50th percentile) is demonstrably on par or better than that of an upper-class person from, say, 800 A.D. in Europe. When sweatshop factories in China close down, the workers riot because they want to keep working there. Because working in those terrible (by our standards) conditions is preferable to the alternative, to the countryside where the workers came from and were making a subsistence living.

And no, we should not stop trading with countries whose leaders treat their people poorly. We are defeating those bastards already. (If I may permit myself to defend the "System" for a bit.) Look at the movements in Egypt, Libya, etc. All those kids are wearing hoodies and Adidas and carrying cellphones alongside their AK's, and they probably watch shit like the Kardashians on TV. They have already bought into our system, whether intentionally or not. It is viral, it has infected them, they cannot escape, the dictators are due for a downfall. China might not be so dramatic (I anticipate a more orderly transition) but it is still coming. I have been there, they eat KFC, watch MTV and wear Ralph Lauren. All of their smartest kids come to the US for college and/or grad school, and then go home to lead their industries while carrying with them a heaping dose of capitalism. I honestly cannot see a war ever happening between China and the West because they simply cannot hate us. They have been exposed to us so much and in so many ways, they might not like us, but they cannot hate us.

I'm not saying that life is great for most people in China or India or Africa, or that we white middle-class Americans are not the extremely lucky beneficiaries of their situation. But their lives are better than they were before. And it's actually BECAUSE of our greed, BECAUSE of the disposable cheap shit that we buy from them.

Moving past that: you seem genuinely disturbed by this thought, and I think the right question to ask you is, who taught you to feel this way, and why did they teach you to feel this way? If I'm mis-reading you, and you just over-emphasized things to make a point, then ok, but it doesn't really seem like that's what you were doing. I think that you honestly feel guilty about your place in the world vis-a-vis others' place in the world, and unless you've done some truly heinous stuff in order to get ahead then you do not deserve to carry that guilt and shame around with you. You cannot either blame or praise people for the simple accident of their birth. It happened, and they had nothing to do with it.

You write dismissively about the "common" (middle-class white American) guilt-bearers for only doing piddly things like buying organic milk to assuage themselves, while you imply that it's people such as yourself (who advocate for stricter/broader-reaching reforms) who are the ones who TRULY care about the poor. You're the one who REALLY knows how to make the world a better place, all those poor deluded suckas are just making themselves feel better in the way that is the least disruptive to their own lives. I humbly suggest that you are carrying the exact same undeserved guilt that they are, and are doing the same exact thing to try to convince yourself that you're paying off your debt to the Universe. Once again, I ask: Who taught you to feel this way? What are their motives in making you feel this way?

Now moving to the main point, about the System being changable and by whom. I see an astounding amount of power moving to average, everyday, even poor people. We have been used to technology for a while now, so we don't perceive things to be all that great for the Third Worlders out there, but the trickle-down theory actually works in technology, and it works remarkably fast. The idea of something like Wikipedia being accessible to villagers, literally villagers in Sub-Saharan Africa, or Indonesia, or Libya... it's a game-changer. No, they don't have state-of-the-art computers, and they don't have very fast pipes, but they can do it. I mean, the very existence of the Nigerian Royalty scam... think about it! Communication is power. Not the only kind of power, but a very important one. Ideas are power, you can find a schematic for a generator or a plow or a windmill or whatever kind of crap you need to improve your life and those around you.

Ok, now look at who created the means of revolution (and the enabling technologies: the things that let people live long-enough lives, comfortable-enough lives, fed-enough lives, connected-enough lives to contemplate revolution). Who invented semiconductors, vaccines, genetic engineering, solar panels, LCD displays, radio frequency communications, lasers, TCP/IP, etc.? Largely people in the 1% (and who were typically born into it) who had the education and leisure time to come up with these things and implement them. And now the benefits of these technologies are exploding across the face of the earth, where they are very likely to be used to overthrow the existing social order in many regions.

But you protest: how is this changing/challenging the System? Isn't it the System's plan to conquer the world via Coca-Cola and Nokia and The Gap and easy money and a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom white picket fence? Yes, of course it is. And what I've described above is merely helping those plans to come to fruition, I can't deny it. However, the pace of change is increasing, disruptive technologies (most of them related to communication) are multiplying, and I can't help but feel that there will come a day when this technology will lead to something that changes the System dramatically.

I believe that if ever something does come along that really disrupts the System, all or most of it will have been invented by the privileged 1% who benefitted most from the System. So "we" may not create the Change itself, but "we" will create the stuff which is necessary for the Change to occur.

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(Re: Badger's last) You hav... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 12:36 AM | Posted, in reply to badger's comment, by PJ: | Reply

(Re: Badger's last) You have a persuasive argument.

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sorry to say that, but I wi... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 1:20 AM | Posted, in reply to abbeysbooks's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

sorry to say that, but I witnessed his mind at work when he was in Maastricht last year and it was half epic fail - pretty much everything I mentioned above plus repetition... I think he makes more sense in his writings :)
I still think he's great observer, but somehow misses the point, context or interconnections or something too often for me to convince me. I sometimes find him misunderstanding realities which are not that difficult to get clear for a person with his background... I assume it's due to (mentioned) "being in love with his own mind" maybe

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You're still talking about ... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 5:58 AM | Posted, in reply to badger's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You're still talking about a transfer of wealth from the periphery of former colonial states to the wealthiest folks of the first world. Globalism being the rising tide that lifts all boats is neither a new nor entirely accurate insight.

Of course these worker's lives are better than rural subsistence farming, the system necessitates it! Only the threat of hunger keeps things efficient.

You did learn about that time when labor threatened to hang the wealthy from lamp posts and openly fired back at the police ~100 years ago, right? Lesson learned, mischief managed? No, clearly not. Not to the extent you glibly paint over, since conflicts like these occur in China every week. Of course they also riot when they lose their job - and by your own admission it's all they have. More accurately, they're adrift on that tide. They sink or swim at the wealthy's pleasure, like everyone else.

You hear no evil. You will not convince yourself that this has something to do with the economic stagnation occurring in the US, EU and Japan. You probably think we can innovate our way out of the coming oil price shock and climate change. It must not be so bad though, and more people throughout the world eat KFC! Now including the little, irrelevant ones in and of the margins.

I mean, the rising tide will come again for the middle class in the US, right? But maybe that will no longer be a figure of speech, if the latest warming trends accelerate in the Arctic. At least we'll be able to build more oil platforms up there. Drill baby drill.

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Well, there are feminists t... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 10:30 AM | Posted by Oelsen: | Reply

Well, there are feminists that are up onto something. Peak Oil will change the landscape of rights and access for sure:

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-01-17/why-sex

Now I want Alone to write something about the energy clusterfuck.

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I am somewhat exaggerating,... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 10:36 AM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I am somewhat exaggerating, sure, but the reason is that so many who don't think there's a problem, or that merely symbolic changes are sufficient. I think the same is true of a lot of things in our country as well (most notably racism, where we symbolically made blacks equal without actually giving them power to make their own lives better). That's the problem. The problem is that for the people who even recognize that there is a problem, the solutions are much the same -- PRETEND. Pretend that the symbols of helping people are the same as actually helping people. Pretend that the fact that you no longer use the word nigger means that you aren't racist even if you have the stereotype of a nigger in your head when someone says "black guy".

The other part is the the reason that the poor of the world are jumping up and down to be slaves is that they have few other options. And we do actively subvert the attempts that people make to improve conditions. The deal we made with most of these places is "We'll build the factories in your country so long as you keep the slaves in line" If Chinese peasents strike for increase in wages or shorter workdays, they have no protection -- by design. The Chinese government alongside other such governments know that the factories stay so long as they can keep wages low and prevent unions and the benefits unions bring.

It's interesting as well that you think that the fact that Egyptians and Chinese and others are wearing American fashions and watching American TV. Actually, it's the same as Rome. You were acceptable to the Roman Matrix to the degree that they accepted Roman ways. The Gauls ceased to be barbarians when they ditched their trousers for togas, and they got more power as they became more and more Roman. How is it different for us to accept Egypt more because they wear American blue jeans and hoodies than it was for the Romans to accept the Gauls or the Lycians to the degree they looked and acted like Romans? The Matrix does that and the rest of the world has learned its lesson -- look like the Matrix, act like the Matrix, and the Matrix will stop fighting you. Let me ask it this way -- why is it more threatening to see those same Egyptians wearing Egyptian clothing and watching Egyptian movies? Is the treat of that image (as opposed to the better image of them wearing American clothing and watching American TV) so threatening? Either way, it's clothing, it's TV, it's books and music and so on. And for that matter, why is the transfer always one sided -- Egyptians are consuming American culture, we aren't consuming theirs. They learn to eat hamburgers, but do you eat Egyptian food? They learn to wear our clothes, but where is the Egyptian fashions coming here? They watch the Kardashians, what Egyptian TV have you seen? or if you don't like Egypt, how about Indian, or Columbian, or even Russian? It's very one sided, as one side holds all the cards. With the notable exception of Japanese culture (and Japan joined the Matrix when Meiji was forced to open his ports to America) the transfer is one sided by design.

I'm not sure what can be done. My opinion is that the Matrix is too deep, and that's really not an accident. But again, until you can see that, and see that the reason that power is going to remain concentrated within American and Western European powers is that they hold all the cards, nothing can change. Of course the other side of that is exactly that Americans and Western Europeans benefit so greatly from that and we are the only ones with even a little power means that the system will not change. I don't feel guilty about being born in America, but I do think that we need to wake up and take the red pill and at least realize that the stuff we see around us is exactly the reason we have it so good.

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um, yeah, that's what men d... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 12:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

um, yeah, that's what men do pretty much all the time. not help others because the aggressor's presence is threatening and then go home and preach about how the world has become so violent lately. but they aren't worth a post because they're special snowflakes or something? unlike college girls, of course. funny how everyone here seems to know everything about those parties as if they'd been there. as if they'd know exactly under what pressure those girls might have stood, even given the assumption that none of them did anything whatsoever. many parents don't even believe their own child has been sexually abused because the power of denial is so strong. there's not really a reason to believe steubenville's police and parents acted responsibly with more and more shady things coming out about the case. but hey, it's all the girls' fault. oh excuse me, of course it is actually feminism's fault.

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There's no blame being laid... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 1:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

There's no blame being laid on rape victims in this post.

He's suggesting that appeals to the "better nature" of rapists and rape culture prove fruitless because the subordination of women to men is about physical, coercive power and the perceptions of the public. You don't ask for freedom; you take it. Hence the suggestion that women build solidarity and a sense of duty to each other. If I'm not mistaken, that's a theme of radical feminism.

Note that a lot of the discussion in the blog revolves around women being afforded the trappings of power, then suddenly coinciding with the power shifting away from an institution in society to another. To be clear: men did cause the shift. So you get the look at women in congress versus the tremendous expansion in influence international business interests now exert over congress compared to the post-WW2 era with Goldman Sachs. Or why college degrees are now useless the second the system allowed women to participate in higher ed, etc. Women are left with the mere appearance of being powerful ("choosing" to wear makeup), while men (particularly white men) still retain their privilege and can even come back and reclaim it when it becomes lucrative to enter a field that was once "women's work" like nursing. Does that make sense?

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"He's suggesting that appea... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 4:05 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"He's suggesting that appeals to the "better nature" of rapists and rape culture prove fruitless because the subordination of women to men is about physical, coercive power and the perceptions of the public. "

who is suggesting this? You are missing the point just like the insane woman you are replying to.

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On point.... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 10:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Matt's comment, by AnnaK: | Reply

On point.

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The problem with the whatev... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 10:45 PM | Posted by AnnaK: | Reply

The problem with the whatever-wave feminism of today is that it's narcissistic exhibitionism masquerading as sexual empowerment (i.e. Slutwalk, the makeup debates, the hijab question, etc). Meaning, a distraction.

It's true that while it's natural for some people to vie for power (men), it hardly ever occurs to others (women). But being able to envision this is only half the battle. With real power, comes greater responsibility, and who wants more of that? The trappings of power, meanwhile, afford most of the perks with little of the hassle. One of the hardest things for the young, liberal mindset to accept is that the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed is mutual, i.e. that the manipulation goes both ways, which is why "the system" works in the first place.

The classic female professional dilemma outlined earlier—you could use a raise but want them to bring it up—is a deliberate construct. In fact, so are most meaningful female indiscretions like hushing up another woman's abuse or being willfully ignorant your own fiscal irresponsibility. (You know) they'll never ask so you never have to face up and be brave. It's like sitting around waiting for the guy to call.

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"You hear no evil. You will... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 11:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by badger: | Reply

"You hear no evil. You will not convince yourself that this has something to do with the economic stagnation occurring in the US, EU and Japan. You probably think we can innovate our way out of the coming oil price shock and climate change. It must not be so bad though, and more people throughout the world eat KFC! Now including the little, irrelevant ones in and of the margins."

Do you ever listen to yourself? Do you bask like a lizard in the self-hatred that you emanate when you write things like this? I ask you the same question I asked Dovahkiin: Who taught you to feel this way, and why did they do so?

I don't deny it! I've got a lot better life than the average person in India or China. But I've also got a better life than any of my ancestors, and most people in India and China have better lives than any of their ancestors. And yes, there is a seeming likelihood that things are headed downhill, for almost everybody (including myself) in the near future. I'm doing what I can to position myself defensively if such a thing should happen, but it's not my primary focus in life.

Focusing on the negatives (and blaming "us" for it) is a way of keeping yourself down, it ensures that you are never able to fully enjoy your life because you feel deep down that you don't deserve it.

You're tilting at windmills here. You have been taught (properly) to fight against injustice. If you see someone being raped, do what you can to stop it, even at the risk of some danger to yourself. But we have taken that to an extreme, there is always another injustice around the corner, another bugaboo to rail against. Injustice against women, against minorities, against the poor, against animals, against abstract things like "The Planet". All of this is happening, it has always happened, it will always happen. It is not worth getting yourself worked up about, since you cannot do anything to stop it.

That doesn't mean that you should stop trying entirely (after all, you can move a mountain one shovel-full at a time, etc.) but you should stop tying your self-identity into your fight against every imaginable injustice. Because the amount of injustice in this world is insurmountable, and you're only on the track to depression (if you're not already there) if you try to stop ALL of it or think that you are somehow obligated to attempt to do so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSvFixnYNbY

Not only does it make you depressed, it gives you a smug sense of self-righteousness over all the lesser people who do not see the world as you do and who do not make the same efforts towards fixing it. So in the depths of despair about how horrible we/you are, you get the satisfaction of at least knowing that you're better than everybody else. A lovely cocktail.

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So I think I'm hearing that... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2013 11:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by badger: | Reply

So I think I'm hearing that you're really just upset about how stupid everybody is? Which, yes, of course they're stupid, and of course you can do your part to educate, but in the final analysis, being angry about people being stupid/disinterested/self-absorbed/etc. is like being angry that you can't reach out and pluck the sun out of the sky. The only guaranteed outcome is that you will become full of rage, frustration and bitterness. Tilting at windmills.

"The other part is the the reason that the poor of the world are jumping up and down to be slaves is that they have few other options."

In the final analysis, we are all slaves to our flesh. We all must provide our bodies sustenance, or we will die. In certain times and places, this is easier than in others. In modern America, it is pretty easy. In the pre-agricultural world, it consumed the majority of one's time. But when we moved up from the subsistence level, we merely traded a lower slavery for a higher slavery. Even most middle-class white Americans (the 0.1%, you said) are tied to their jobs, they can't afford to quit, they "have few other options". There are VERY few who are truly free from economic slavery, and even those of us who are pretty high up the ladder are still stuck where we are.

Regarding Egyptians adopting our clothing, entertainment, etc.: Are you really asking those questions? It seems that you know the answers already, but you just don't like them. I don't think that I can really add anything here. I'm certainly not going to contradict you, you're exactly right, but you seem to think there's something wrong with it. Of course it's how the Borg is absorbing them from the inside out. And they're going right along with it, willingly. There's nothing you can do about it. Why lament it?

I certainly advocate greater awareness (both self- and other-) among all humans, and promote it where I can. In the end, I think that's the only thing I can really do. The prevailing System is really not all that bad. "For people like you!", you object, and I acknowledge that, but it's increasingly good for a lot of other people who aren't like me as well, and I'm not aware of another System which would be any better.

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Just a small reminder that ... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2013 3:52 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Just a small reminder that "Django" is not remotely historically accurate, which makes the bad analogy slavery - patriarchy in this article even worse:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/01/how-accurate-is-quentin-tarantinos-portrayal-of-slavery-in-django-unchained.html

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Jerk you replied to here, t... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2013 7:48 AM | Posted, in reply to badger's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Jerk you replied to here, the points you made about "Malthusian guilt" (that's what I'll call it okay) thing are spot on and quite insightful. That type of guilt isn't productive. Shit, I know didn't build the damn thing. No one in particular did - which is the whole problem. I look down not people unaware of these things, but I will look down at its apologists.

"The Planet" is becoming less and less abstract every day good sir. Keep up with the weather. The oil thing is also eventual, there's only so many times we can kick that can.

I object to the idea that we should look at the spread of global consumerism as a way to "beat the bastards" who run countries that do not enjoy the same "freedoms" of the first world. Note that these same bastards are often good friends with the bastards that run the West. No need to sugarcoat what's actually going on.
More broadly even: consumerism isn't going to defeat any bastards at all. Quite the opposite. Rather it makes us bastards, selfish, self-hating, paranoid bastards driven only by a desire for desire. And yes, "Malthusian guilt" is part of that. We both read this blog.

You suggest technology (in particular communication) will dig humanity out of this, bring us together etc. A silver lining to be sure, and not one to underestimate. Yet you also cannot downplay the fact that the methods of social control, ones already refined in the 20th century, have only grown insidious and intrusive as a result of the same technology. These roughly entail marketing, propaganda and surveillance. The amount of coercive power the state (an institution representing the interests of a class that we might've called Capital 100 years ago, but maybe necessitates more nuance now) has available to it has only expanded as well.

Perhaps this seems like a tired exercise in belaboring the obvious for the sake of lame moral posturing, or a sad sack liberal finding the glass perpetually half empty. I've entertained those thoughts myself and in some respects you are correct, but I will always be suspicious of people who come off as if they are carrying water for the "Matrix" while appearing to see through it. Don't be Apoc.

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I suppose I'm being unclear... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2013 9:23 AM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I suppose I'm being unclear with my egyptian comment. The point isn't that Egyptians like hoodies and it's tragic. I don't know why Egyptians like hoodies. My point is the psychological reaction you have to Egyptians liking Western things (clothes, entertainment, food, whatever). The reaction was basically "see, things are getting better, the Egyptians are turning into little Americans". My point is that there was nothing wrong with Egyptians being Egyptians. There's nothing immoral about traditional Egyptian culture -- it's simply a culture, and unless Egyptian entertainment is nothing but torturing and killing people for fun, there's nothing wrong with Egyptian culture. The reverse, in my opinion, is on some level bigotted. If a person's acceptability is based only on their acceptance of White Ways (yes it's not only white, American culture is kind of a mixed bag), then it's not much different than what the people of the "bad old days" would have said. In Rome, as I said, you were a Barbarian until you started acting like Romans. In the British Empire, the more you acted like a Briton, the more acceptable you were. It's nothing more or less than the same old imperialism, and we still don't see it. We still don't accept other cultures having a right to be different. We'll take Egyptians so long as they act like Americans, think like Americans, and watch TV like Americans, but if they decide they want to be Egyptians, well, that's bad.

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@Alone: How do you write wi... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2013 6:00 PM | Posted by J: | Reply

@Alone: How do you write with such emotion but still come off as even-handed?

I know if I was to write like that, I'd end up with a ridiculously biased piece that even I wouldn't agree with a day later.

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My best guess so far is Ana... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2013 10:20 PM | Posted by Cesare Gielgud: | Reply

My best guess so far is Anand Pandya

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Do you ever listen to yo... (Below threshold)

January 25, 2013 9:34 AM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Do you ever listen to yourself? Do you bask like a lizard in the self-hatred that you emanate when you write things like this? I ask you the same question I asked Dovahkiin: Who taught you to feel this way, and why did they do so?

I don't deny it! I've got a lot better life than the average person in India or China. But I've also got a better life than any of my ancestors, and most people in India and China have better lives than any of their ancestors. And yes, there is a seeming likelihood that things are headed downhill, for almost everybody (including myself) in the near future. I'm doing what I can to position myself defensively if such a thing should happen, but it's not my primary focus in life.

Focusing on the negatives (and blaming "us" for it) is a way of keeping yourself down, it ensures that you are never able to fully enjoy your life because you feel deep down that you don't deserve it.

I think you're somewhat right in that none of us specifically caused anything, but I think that's also beside the point. The slaveowners never caused slavery either, would you say that they shouldn't have felt so bad that they're benefitting from slave labor? Would you tell good Germans not to feel bad that they're gaining from a jobs program that created an entire "Kill people we don't like" industry. Guilt isn't the point per se -- I don't feel guilty about living where I live or having what I have. What I think is unforgivable is that we can't even be honest with ourselves about our privileges (in the case of our discussion about globalism, American Privilege). If you can't admit that we are the "evil slave-owner" then we can't even take the steps that the actual slave-owners took and argue about whether or not its a good thing or a bad thing. We can't justify ending something that we just can't admit to ourselves is happening. Is that guilt? Maybe, maybe not, but it's a bit better than the usual "it's not so bad, if whitey hadn't plucked 'em from the trees, they'd still be eating dirt" type of response.

And who "deserves" anything? Not as a put down to myself or anyone else, but as an actual question? What did you do to deserve to be born in America, what did you do to deserve the privileges of your parent's money? What did you do to deserve a first world education? What did you do to deserve the first job you ever got? Seriously, I think the idea that we deserve any of the things that came to us as a result of choosing to be born to certain parents who had advantages in the world is suspect. We like to tell ourselves we earned that stuff, but had you been born in Mumbai or Nairobi you probably would be living quite a different life right now. Same person, same talent, but because of your birth into a different part of the Matrix, your horizons broaden or shrink.

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I was recommended the blog ... (Below threshold)

January 25, 2013 1:22 PM | Posted by namae nanka: | Reply

I was recommended the blog from vox day's comment thread about women being cleared to join men on the front lines. Tom Ball immolated himself and his manifesto lined out how the government has been waging a war on men, and instead we get an election campagin about a war being waged on women. Which apparently is good, because finally women have the privilege to get war hero medals and advance their careers just like the menz.

voxday.blogspot.in/2013/01/women-to-front-lines.html

"power had shifted away from government in the late 1980's or so"

spending money is of course evidence of no power, just like in households, it's the wage-gap where the real power lies. Just ask the japanese men who hand over their paychecks to their wives, they revel in their manly power!
and before that government had real power, drafting men to fight in wars and forcing women to give them white feathers, power power power!!

'I had an extremely talented friend who said there was no point in being a female composer, because you're always a woman first. "

and thus she could gain more fame than a man of similar calibre and often much higher? Like Marie Curie?

"Or why college degrees are now useless the second the system allowed women to participate in higher ed"

LOL, women have been majority on college campuses since 1981, it doesn't help that they are majoring in stupid studies or that education has to be watered down so that everyone gets As and SATs are sexist because men score higher. It's men who are earning less than their fathers, not women worse off than their mothers.


"Our society is constantly pointing to "the old boy's club""

don't forget the young boys' club of video gamers.

"If the men-of-power on wall street are the epitome of man culture then software devs are the anti-man culture. "

oh no, you got it all wrong, the unbearable machoness of the IT nerds is what's keeping out the wimminz

The funniest thing being the talk of matrix, as if the folks talking about it even realize what really the red pill is.

http://endofwomen.blogspot.in/2012/10/male-dominated-history-and-definition.html

PS - "We like to tell ourselves we earned that stuff, but had you been born in Mumbai or Nairobi you probably would be living quite a different life right now. Same person, same talent"

jeez, what a moron.

"not an equal partner, this is 1850 or so"

Legal Subjection of Men, matrimonial privileges of women

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There is no "power" anymore... (Below threshold)

January 25, 2013 2:41 PM | Posted, in reply to namae nanka's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

There is no "power" anymore. As Baudrillard and Nietzsche before him said, "Something can only be truly understood after it no longer exists." And Baudrillard writes the question, "Has Foucault written so perfectly about power because it is finished?" And that is his beginning of his book Forget Foucault.

Since power is everywhere in the interstices of the Matrix, which is the Foucauldian Grid, The Foucauldian Mesh, it is nowhere. Just as Herzog on evil in the jungle, "Evil is everywhere." http://moviesandfilm.blogspot.com/2012/09/herzog-jungle-is-obscene-rob-pattinsons.html When it is everywhere then it becomes OBSCENE and obscene is not to be read and defined as a moral condemnation. Just aas the word "fuck" is everywhere: a verb, a noun, an adjective, an adverb, the word fuck is OBSCENE. Sex is now OBSCENE because it is everywhere except in sex as Baudrillard says. Since power is everywhere, power is OBSCENE. It is nowhere and everywhere. Obama black or white, woman or man does not matter as president because the president and govt has no power. go to your local court on a visit. Watch the judge come in, the court crier, the prosecutor, the audience all stand up including yourself. You know you are just standing because it is a ritual empty of meaning but you are doing it anyway just like a robot or zombie. You yourself know that here is no power, no prestige, nothing. It is all a SIMULACRUM in a piece of SIMULATED REALITY. When this SIMULATED REALITY is total we will be in VIRTUAL REALITY from which there is no escape. Don't believe me? Go into HARD CORE GAMING for awhile. You will see. You are killed and you come back with another identity. Nothing is black and white, good or bad, true or false, up or down, in fact there are no opposites at all. The classical Hegelian Dialectical Dominating Discourse is over.

You see this in the Hunger Games. This doesn't mean that "people don't retch and die in the streets" as Don DeLillo says in his Cosmopolis.

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I see you jumped off my Gam... (Below threshold)

January 25, 2013 3:25 PM | Posted, in reply to namae nanka's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

I see you jumped off my Gaming note to you. IT and Gamers are in different categories. An IT person is one with certification that allows her/him to earn a significant amount of money, although many are being laid off as Indians are as good, better and much cheaper.

Gamers are outsiders: artists, nerds, hackers etc. Anomymous is full of hard core hackers.

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Reading the comments put fo... (Below threshold)

January 25, 2013 4:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Reading the comments put forth I remember the refreshingly honest straightforwardness and candor of the Mitford sisters, cited in Wikipedia as "Diana the Fascist, Jessica the Communist, Unity the Hitler-lover; Nancy the Novelist; Deborah the Duchess and Pamela the unobtrusive poultry connoisseur." As children, the girls would take books supporting their various points of view and rather than posturing ideological debate they would simply battle, throwing the books at each other the way other children might throw rocks.

As they aged and became more entrenched in their various habits they grew more vocal ideologically and less physical, and more dangerous.

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First off, in 1850 (the era... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2013 6:42 PM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

First off, in 1850 (the era of Django, which is the movie we're discussing), women didn't have any official power. Women generally were not allowed to have jobs after marriage, they couldn't vote, and would have a hard time getting a divorce. Officially and culturally women existed solely to get married to a man and have children that she would then raise. What women, or at least white women, had in that era was access to her husband. If he was well off, she could live a fiarly comfortable existence, if he was a powerful man, she could share power by convincing him to do what she wanted him to do, things like that. So I'd agree that the idea that women had no power is wrong -- she had derived power, which is to say that if she could marry into wealth and power, she could convince the man to do what she wanted and thus indirectly wield power.

And how is it wrong to say that a person's power and potential is not partially a result of accidents of your birth? If Hillary Clinton had been born in Saudi Arabia, she wouldn't be allowed outside the house, she couldn't drive, and she certainly wouldn't have been allowed to become the Secretary of State. If Obama had been born in 1910, he'd have likely been a plumber, as blacks were in general relegated to -- at best -- skilled trades. If any one of us had been born in Afghanistan, we wouldn't know what a computer is, in fact, most homes in Afghanistan don't have electricity, so no matter how smart you are, if you live in Afghanistan, you probably aren't going to have a hi-tech startup in your barn. Which as I said, means that accidents of birth to a fair degree influence your future lifestyle. If you're born into a hi-tech society, you can do a lot with the benefits of that society, if you're born into a place that doesn't, you can't. If you're born into a place that welcomes your kind (whatever that may be) you'll do a lot better than you would have had you been born in a place that hates your kind.

And there is very much so real power. It's just not what you think it is. Sure the standing in court thing is not real power, but what about a boss who can fire you, or a police officer who can arrest you, or a media empire that can control what you see and hear? Power is all over the place, and it's simple enough to figure out who has it and who doesn't. Think about your boss, probably a decent enough guy, but here's how you know he has real power over you -- you pay attention to what he wants, you re-arrange your priorities around his ideas, you defer your opinions on areas under his power to him. So if your boss decides that your first priority is to figure out how to cut costs by 10%, then that's your priority. If the same guy comes in on friday and says "no on second thought, maybe we should raise sales first" then you do that instead. When he sets a deadline, you meet it. That's power. On the other hand, symbolic power is something that you get with titles, for example being knighted (in England), or being appointed to some titled job. Nobody cares, as you don't actually have the ability to get people to do what's on your agenda. You can't change anything. You can't tell people what you want and have them do it -- what are you going to do if they don't? Goldman Sachs has power for that reason -- if you don't toe their line, you don't get the money.

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On the one hand, I think yo... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2013 6:48 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

On the one hand, I think you've reached the root of the problem. Self-respect.
Like the women who wear makeup, the girls who stood around watching the other girl get raped weren't thinking about self-respect. Or even whether other people respected them. What was more important to them is that other people LIKED them - and this means a positive reaction.
No-one gets up and says 'hands off her, douch-bag, I'm calling the cops' because then douch-bag and his 20 mates don't like her anymore. Doesn't matter whether or not they RESPECT her, its that they don't like her.
But the girls then miss the point that the rape gets covered up not because people like the boys, but because they (misguidedly) respect them.
On the other hand, you epically fail to show even the smallest respect the women who actually deserve it - those who HAVE gotten their shit together, and have gotten past the (genetic? indoctrinated? whichever) need to be liked. For fuck sake, the fact that these women have become Senators doesn't mean that all the men have moved on and made way for them. There are plenty of men who still want to be Senators, they just AREN'T AS GOOD as these women are.
So, until you are a Senator yourself, I think you should show some fucking respect for your betters. Women or otherwise.

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Who said you were "wrong"? ... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2013 6:51 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Who said you were "wrong"? What a word to use.

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The women who watched is so... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2013 6:56 PM | Posted by abbeysbooks: | Reply

The women who watched is so far out of my experience that I can't even think about it. They are barbarians, that's all. It reminds me of a long ago movie I saw from Eastern Europe in black and white. It's dystopian. A group of women are wandering in a landscape where there are no other people and an older woman is leading them. They are young, strong girls and it becomes clear that she is searching for a man so the race can go on. They find one but he is old like the woman and she finally has someone to talk with. The movie is called August at the Hotel Ozone. It is incredible. But these girls who watched the rape are very like those girls in that film. Darwin in reverse.

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As a gay-but-masculine man,... (Below threshold)

January 26, 2013 9:28 PM | Posted by James: | Reply

As a gay-but-masculine man, I wish to GOD that men wore makeup. Honestly, it makes sense: everyone looks so much better in make up! If I was a straight man, I wouldn't even look at women without makeup. Hell, I wear makeup in my own house and I've worn it to the local queer bar. There is something magical about being a handsome man wearing the smoky eye and perfect, pore-covering concealer. And I find other men that wear makeup soooo sexy - it's like making love to a girl that's a man trying to look like a girl. Mmmmm!

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I don't think anyone is an ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 1:01 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't think anyone is an adult until they have wrestled with the issue of having to sacrifice something for their ideals. Or of experiencing first hand how difficult this can be in reality, once one is operating as a figure with their own assumed power in a world where others might not see it or acknowlege it. I'm referring to the girls who were present when another girl got assaulted, but also to even more complex issues that occur when yo are a thinking feeling person in the adult world.

Is any discussion about power complete without addressing the issue of personal power, power within, or of speaking truth to power?

Or of viewing power in a more complex way- as something that one can simply assume, although it may come with some costs.

It's a little too easy to speak of power as something a few at the top have and forget that for the privileges they gain they must surely sacrifice some things as well, just like we all do.

it reminds me of something katherine hepburn said in the movie Adam's Rib. Someone said "I don't make the rules," and she replied, "Sure you do. We all do."

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No self respecting person w... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 1:10 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

No self respecting person would read this blog and find it anything other than painfully self-indulgent, fearfully sexist and full of gaps in logic so large you could drive a tank through them. I stumbled across this via that Cracked article everyone just loved so much, and I was actually hopeful. But jesus christ. I can only hope no woman was self-loathing enough to procreate with you! Then again, if you were truly once a psychiatrist (a terrifying, terrifying thought), I'm sure you were able to find someone. I am so sorry for anyone unfortunate enough to have ever been a patient of yours. Although as others have mentioned, despite having known more than one narcissistic psychiatrist, I don't buy it. This is another level of crazy and hate-filled.

The fact that more than a handful of people could be fooled by this drivel is, of course, not surprising. Just having an IQ above 130 these days is enough to lose any remaining ability to be shocked by the stupidity of others. Especially sad white men in America. Especially on the internet. The only thing I find really disheartening is what it says about our society that this many people feel so inferior and so threatened. Take my advice - make your way to a (legitimate) mental health provider.

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After reading this c... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:14 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply


After reading this comment, I'd like to know more on the subject of personal power. any recommendations?

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If we're beyond help, why p... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 6:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If we're beyond help, why post this sanctimonious rant in the first place?

It's telling that all the people laying accusations of "victim blaming" and sexism on the blog post are not citing any specific examples in the article of where it occurs. I don't expect these to be qualified in the future but it demonstrates just how deeply laden with self-defeating narcissism identity politics has become.

Is a Gawker site like Jezebel or an infotainment site like Huffington Post really that near and dear to anyone's heart to get bent out of shape over when it's criticized? These are sites out to make money. They do this through ad revenue and in Huffpo's case "promoted content" and not paying some of their writing staff. They're businesses, and ones that aren't all that interested in a good faith, high minded debate. They're there to entertain and manipulate you into outrage.

Is it such a repugnant thought that some of the people you may agree with politically aren't all that bright? Or more cynically, that they are more interested in generating traffic (yes, the almighty $) to their website by fomenting shallow controversies about TV shows and the latest retarded thing posted on Reddit?

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<a href="http://www.youtube... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 7:09 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhyhzlL-hh8

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After spending the last yea... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 8:37 AM | Posted by photondancer: | Reply

After spending the last year or two wandering around the kind of blogs that endlessly link to Jezebel and whine endlessly about 'privilege' and how they're just too, too 'oppressed', reading this came as such a refreshing change that I was practically cheering by the end. I'm even more impressed that you had the sense not to blame it on 'feminism' but rather on the bastardized garbage that passes for feminism among that set who are intellectually lazy, superficially educated and like to think of themselves as 'progressive' - but who never actually DO anything. Kudos.

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well I certainly lost all r... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 10:10 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

well I certainly lost all respect for myself after reading your post. Fuck off, you are just a moron, and I would definitely beat the shit out of you if we ever met in real life

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I don't think the system ca... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 10:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Matt's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't think the system cares about removing power from women to give it to men, stop with this shit, all of you are just trying to make your mainstream views fit with alone's controversial views, my personal idea is that the system doesn't give a shit about giving power to men over women, it oppress them both equally with different systems, yet men still seem to have a little bit of a edge, and women are oppressed by other women and not the men in their life

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well I think the mainstream... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 10:22 AM | Posted, in reply to photondancer's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

well I think the mainstream and the classical feminism is garbage and shit- a new kind of feminism has to be invented.

So yeah the real feminists are the one who do not make any sense and are stupid and crazy, fake feminists are needed for actual progress. Let's not confuse the real feminism with anything that makes sense or is not stupid as shit please

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Shamsi Ruhe's comments are ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 12:52 PM | Posted by Satchel Paige: | Reply

Shamsi Ruhe's comments are pure Bogus Feminist Gold and should be sold at $0.25/word to average consumers of Feminist Claptrap.

You sure got your Political Correctness Achievement Badge, Shamsi. But you'd have got it without saying a thing, thanks to your very exotic handle, which surprasses substantive wisdom every time.

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First off, in 1850 (the ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 12:56 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

First off, in 1850 (the era of Django, which is the movie we're discussing), women didn't have any official power.

What a bunch of revisionist nonsense.

What you SHOULD have said was, "they didn't have any type of power that I'm willing to accept, because that would undercut the cheap-ass rhetorical tricks I'm using."

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By the way, it's sweet-as-h... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 12:58 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

By the way, it's sweet-as-honey that "Alone" also posts as Dragonborn. Alone plays Skyrim? Gosh, what a stunning revelation!

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You make some good points; ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 2:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by badger: | Reply

You make some good points; certainly, everything is not roses and champagne in the world. And I understand your suspicion of System-supporters. I'm certainly a product of the System, and while I'm familiar with my share of conspiracy theories, I'm not sure that I really pierce the veil very well. I am susceptible to manipulation, but I always try to perceive it and resist it. And I try to perceive it in others as well, and help them resist when I can. I think that's about the best that I can hope for. As I said in my original comment, all that we can really try to do is become more aware, and more self-aware; and try to do things that are not for or against the system explicitly, but simply orthogonal. Any change that results from larger numbers of people doing this, will be inherently unpredictable.

I like your term "Malthusian guilt", it makes good sense.

@Dovahkiin (Jan. 24th comment -- sorry, I am behind, but I started writing this comment several days ago): I am certainly no fan of the cultural, social, economic and genetic homogenization of humanity. However, it appears to be happening, and it appears that there's not much that I can do to stop it. I certainly wish that we could preserve every language, every culture, every style of dress and speech and food and whatnot. I love to travel, and I love learning languages. I feel very sad when I ponder that many of the world's languages (and the cultures that created them) will likely disappear within the next few generations.

However, it is a natural result of enhanced communication, and to explicitly try to preserve cultures/languages/etc. is basically to put groups of people into a reservation, to be observed and not to be interfered with. And while this is a noble thought in some ways, it effectively cuts off those groups from having any future among the rest of humanity.... they're merely animals in a zoo. (I dislike zoos quite a bit, I feel sorry for almost all of the animals there.) This is explained very poignantly by the Pequeninos in Orson Scott Card's books Xenocide and Children of the Mind.

It's the noble savage thing all over again, we put their culture over ours because it's more "authentic" or whatever, but when it comes to actual people making actual decisions about what culture they want to adopt, they choose ours. (And if you want to preserve their culture so much, then you should make the choice to go and live there and give up your own culture. Why haven't you done so?) So that must mean that ours is "better" in some sense, definitely not better in every way but maybe (taking it to the extreme negative side, just for the sake of argument) better at appealing to the base desires? I don't know but it must be "better" in some way, because people seem to choose it. (And I realize that that "choice" may be ill-informed, manipulated, or even coerced... but it's happened enough times, with large enough numbers, that it's hard to discount it completely.) But in the end, who are you to make that decision for other people? Who are you to tell people that they must keep dressing this way, eating this food, speaking this language -- if they want to do otherwise? It's just arrogance, saying that you can pick and choose their cultural behavior better than they can themselves.

It's a bizarre form of conservatism; it's funny that what separates liberals from conservatives is exactly what they want to conserve. The human lifespan is short, but it is long enough to see major changes in one lifetime, and we all tend to want to stop the world at sometime between the date of our birth and our early 20's. That's when our minds are formed, and that's when our conceptions of the world are formed, and if the world changes from that conception then we tend not to like it.

Example on a large scale: It does seem that climate change is occurring, but whether it's caused by humans or not is still very much up for debate IMO, and I think the idea that we could really change it much is its own form of arrogance. There are huge external factors like the sun, a 0.1% variance in the heat output of the sun could change things way beyond what we've seen within the past 100 years, which just happened to be the time that we had proper instruments and records, and we developed a science capable of tracking these things, and we apparently decided that the Earth's overall temperature had to be roughly the same as it was in the first half of the 20th century, forever; anything different would be "climate change" despite the fact that there have been proven major swings in the climate, both during human history and prior to it, which far outrank what we've seen in the past 100 years, and which obviously had no industrial-scale human inputs whatsoever.

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My point isn't whether you ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 3:04 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by badger: | Reply

My point isn't whether you deserve it. My point is simply that you have it, as a result of accident, but you carry this guilt telling you that you do NOT deserve it (which I am using here not as a simple negation of deserving it, but something stronger -- like it is an evil that you have it) which keeps you down on yourself, because you are constantly telling yourself that it came at the expense of others, and that prevents you from enjoying it. And what a waste that is, to have something marvelous and not to make full use of it!

"What I think is unforgivable is that we can't even be honest with ourselves about our privileges (in the case of our discussion about globalism, American Privilege)"

So what's unforgivable about being dumb? And again, you use the first-person plural ("ourselves", "our privileges") but you seem to think that YOU personally are being honest with YOURself, so you're using the first-person plural to mean everybody in your culture, EXCEPT you? Which is a pretty condescending way of speaking. So are you really angry with yourself, or with others? And again, how is it worth your while to be angry at others -- others over whom you have no power?

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I came here from Dave Wong'... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 3:59 PM | Posted by fgsfds: | Reply

I came here from Dave Wong's article on Cracked. I've only read 'Hipsters on Food Stamps' and this article.

Because of the author's confrontational style, I have a hard time telling if his contempt is directed at women, or at the society that raised them. I suspect he tries to contain himself to the latter, but that in practice he has a hard time avoiding the former. Similar to his treatment of the food stamp hipsters in the previous articles: acknowledging that they made their decisions based on the comforting lies of people they trusted, then raging at them the next.

I am a professional software developer who does not wear makeup. For two reasons: first, because my self-concept is mostly centered around what I can accomplish with my mind, not what I look like; and second, because I could never betray my mother that way. She and her generation of feminists took up the challenge, and I'm going to claw it forward as far as I can.

When people make grand sweeping statements about "women" as a monolithic entity, all I hear is "I like to make unsubstantiated claims about roughly half of humanity based on my own limited experience with the kind of people I surround myself with, plus what I see on sitcoms!" Like how my friend who picks up women at bars complains about how shallow girls are.

tl;dr Your pop psychology is bad and you should feel bad.

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Make-up is a mask. The Japa... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:08 PM | Posted, in reply to fgsfds's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Make-up is a mask. The Japanese Geisha's have taught us that. When you wish to wear a mask, then put on make-up by all means. To wear it all the time means that you have to wash it off at night, look in the mirror and ask, "Who's that?" Why I have never colored my hair.

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This is really because you ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:10 PM | Posted, in reply to badger's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

This is really because you don't understand the Foucauldian Grid, mesh, Matrix, whatever you want to name it. It's far more than that label and only by steeping yourself in Foucault, and I don't mean those writing on Foucault, are you ever going to truly understand it.

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I saw Satchel Paige pitch i... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Satchel Paige's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

I saw Satchel Paige pitch in 1953. In Cleveland. I was thrilled.

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It's already been invented.... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:14 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

It's already been invented. Malabou; Masha Tupitsyn; more but those two come to mind first. A fictional character is Liz Salander.

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You are really saying that ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

You are really saying that the writer nows nothing about power because there is no indication in anything written on this post or others, that the writer has a thorough understanding of Foucault. Try Power/Knowledge to begin with.

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If you don't understand the... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:24 PM | Posted, in reply to GOTO10's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

If you don't understand then start reading Foucault as he spent his life explaining it to you in the most beautiful prose. He wrote not for academics but for everyone who could read. The Order of Things came out in the summer and was the book to read on the beach. Along with Lacan's I forget which one. But then that's France.

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Yes. ... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:34 PM | Posted, in reply to Or's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Yes.

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Read Foucault's last book a... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 4:55 PM | Posted, in reply to VA's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Read Foucault's last book as he was working on this when he died of AIDS. Fearless Speech.

Foucault was very much about resistance and its importance. BUT efficient resistance. "Wherever there is power, there is resistance." The two are in a meld. You apply resistance at the point, usually locally for you, that will do the most damage. I fought Seymour MO for 5 years in court over the mayor cutting my garden down because red clover in it exceeded the ordinance of 12 inches and because it was a "WEED"!I really wanted to see if it could be done. It can. Gene Zimmerman spend the last years of his life going around the US and teaching 2 week workshops on guerrilla law.It is efficient and effective. He said, "If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong."

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abbeysbooks, please stop po... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 5:18 PM | Posted by PN: | Reply

abbeysbooks, please stop posting

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Liberation movements lose t... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 9:00 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Liberation movements lose their way when they become self-esteem movements.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwsrFSOvR84

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Yeah, but "studies show" yo... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 9:23 PM | Posted, in reply to fgsfds's comment, by sunny day: | Reply

Yeah, but "studies show" you'd make more money if you wore makeup, right? And money=power, so by sticking to your created, non-makeup-wearing self-image you're actually denying yourself power.

(I see your point, but I've been trained to think that most of my power comes from my appearance. This is one of those things that is so ingrained that you'll get women who identify as feminist telling other women it's OK to be fat and that they can wear whatever they want out, then shilling for slimming products and "Five Sluttiest Looking Celebrity" lists on the same page because no, it's not really OK.

There is no "red pill" for this, just Alli.)

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Not really. It's kind of se... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 9:30 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Raylene: | Reply

Not really. It's kind of self evident. Everybody makes choices about what they are willing to give up to get whatever. Rich, poor, it doesn't matter. Everybody has something to give and of course everybody has things they want. Everybody is equal that way.


I will say however that as often as certain types of people like to talk about choice as if it is a profound or good thing, one of the darkest realities I can think of is teh idea that all one might have is one's right to make choices and live with the consequences.


I suppose one might look at power and control and consider the implications that some people have more of an orientation towards interior things, the self's own inner world, and some people are more oriented toward exterior things, money, corner offices, whatever. I'm not, however, saying that is not ultimately a false dichotomy. When you look at extreme inward people and extreme outward people, there might be some pathology that goes with each....

I was responding to the assertion, somewhere in teh comments, that people in politics have power, and people with titles do not, which is a gross oversimplification. the things one gives up for a career in politics, come to think of it, might be the very things that seem to foster, at some point, acting out against that life's appearances of propriety or acting out against the self sacrifice necessary to achieve such prominence... of course I am referring to scandals that happen so frequently to certain kinds of people.

It is obvious, and this is the sort of thing I would expect to read in Alone's comment section, that when one is dealing with a person who has mainly or only an orientation toward material success, they can be quite a dangerous person, and probably easily coerced. Spirited people can be harder to fight simply because they are responding to their own internal values and resources and probably satisfying some ethical and moral concerns... Other people might merely be looking to save their skins... this is kind of ironic in a way, since spiritual sustenance is pretty much free for the taking if you know how, unlike so many toher things.

i apologize if my phrasing is awkward; I'm not feeling well today.

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Studies also show that peop... (Below threshold)

January 27, 2013 9:44 PM | Posted, in reply to sunny day's comment, by Raylene: | Reply

Studies also show that people expect more from beautiful people, i believe. there is a new book out that discusses why it sucks to be beautiful. people expect more from you, people resent the power that one who is beautiful is thought to have. Women do not want to be your friend and all guys want to fuck you. It's kind of a drag. It tends to bring out other people's intense projections onto you because if you are beautiful you elicit straong reactions. You end up with stalkers and weirdos... it's not what people think it is.

Consider all the awful things beautiful people wind up doing and it is easy to see how it might be a drag. I mean, if it's so great, why are there so many beautiful people who have to pose for Playboy or try to marry well or make zillions of public appearances... imagine having to look your best all the time. We all tend to internalize whatever others value in us; that means some people feel honestly pressured to be gorgeous, all the time. that sucks.
All of the attention is in itself a drag, and if you are really beautiful, even if you are a nobody, people pay extra attention.
and sometimes at work, bosses are afraid to promote you... they don't want to seem to favor you, especially if they really do want to fuck you.
It's kind of like, imagine being trapped in someone else's psychodrama, only with no end in sight...
There is also some truth to the idea you have better sex if you're not so gorgeous. You can relax, he can relax, nobody is trying to impress anybody excesively...or maintain some kind of defensive image...

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you are very stupid and ann... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 4:12 AM | Posted, in reply to fgsfds's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you are very stupid and annoying and with reading comprehension problems, also over sensitive. Please don't comment again

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"there is a new book out th... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 4:16 AM | Posted, in reply to Raylene's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"there is a new book out that discusses why it sucks to be beautiful. people expect more from you, people resent the power that one who is beautiful is thought to have. "

how are these negatives? People keeping you in a higher regard than normal people and being jealous of you?

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Consider how shamanic femin... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 4:31 AM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Consider how shamanic feminism might be different from that of the West:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6UyFMAdpk

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Yeah, but makeup doesn't ha... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 9:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Raylene's comment, by sunny day: | Reply

Yeah, but makeup doesn't have to do with beauty. Every woman is supposed to wear it, no matter what she looks like. fgsfds could be Helen of Troy or a bigger dog than Clifford, she's still supposed to wear makeup because it's "part of being a woman." She can complain about it, but actually not wearing it? Weird, and requires an explanation. Hell, I think she's screwing herself over by not wearing makeup, and I know "her" from an anonymous post on a website. That's how deep the training goes.

I shared this article with some friends, and the ones who cared enough to give it a read and comment were uniformly offended--and the part that offended them was the idea that they would wear makeup to attract sexual attention. I didn't find it offensive, but it was interesting that it got such a strong "this is attacking me and all women" reaction.

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As a woman, I have to say..... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 11:53 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

As a woman, I have to say... the greatest thing my dad ever taught me was not to give a fuck. As long as it's not screwing anybody else over, if there's something you want and it's within your capacity to take it, go for it. But get it through honest hard work and ability.

And in agreement with what someone said above: "What kind of witch just ditches her friends?"

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Shaking my head after readi... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 1:16 PM | Posted by Matt: | Reply

Shaking my head after reading the first few paragraphs. Is this all the news that people can talk about these days? There happens to be a lot going on in the world today but I am surprised that this one required people's attention and opinion. Well, I do hope people come back to reality now.

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tons of women in healthcare... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 6:28 PM | Posted by Raylene: | Reply

tons of women in healthcare choose to go without makeup, nurses and nursing assistant, respiratory staff... I don't actually think it is always that big of a deal. and actually yeah, wearing makeup probably is perceived to be more of a grooming thing than an actualy beauty thing. Makeup is good for attracting guys--- or rather, getting them to approach you--- because you will be perceived as someone who is open to attracting attention, the same way you will seem open to attracting attention if you smile or look happy. It is largely true guys won't necessarily see you as more beautiful in makeup.
Seems pretty silly to me that someone can't see why it might be a problem to expect a woman to produce more than others to get the same rewards because she is beautiful. i mean, it's the same as expecting someone to prove themselves more if they are black or old or female or anything else. Hello. And having people jealous, envious, and threatened by you because you get the guys... i think teh average person could see why this might be uncomfortable. I didn't notice any explanation by the writer as to why this wouldn't be not only not a problem, but "a good thing."
While you're at it, why not say it's great to atract tons of atention and stalkers and weirdos, who feel so moved by you that they ascribe an inordinate of power and magical similarity between yourself and them, even when they don't know you. "Oh, he likes you!" Indeed.

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Women couldn't vote or hold... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 7:42 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Women couldn't vote or hold a job after marriage, it's a fact. Try google. We're talking about 1850, and that's how it was -- the only job a married woman was allowed to hold after marriage was teaching. That's no official power. However, and you seem to want to blow right by that point, is that they actually had plenty of power. I said that, and you're ignoring the part that makes me say something that you don't want to hear -- namely, that women never needed a movement, they still don't because unlike blacks, native americans, or any other ethnic group, they never needed a real "rights movement" -- they had power already, as they could literally marry into it. Gone with the Wind is a fair demonstration of the power of said women. Scarlett O'Hara had a lot of power, more than most shop-keepers, certainly more than her slaves, and probably better than the average factory worker in a Yankee factory. Why? She was born into a patrician family with a lot of wealth and power, and thus she had the option to marry into another patrician family. As such families could command a lot of respect in political circles and social circles, all she would have had to do was convince either her father (before marriage) or her husband (after marriage) to do as she thought should happen. That's a lot of power.

Now as to the comment that I shouldn't feel so bad about having, well, how should I feel? The accident of birth is not something to be proud of, not something to make me think "I deserve this", and most people would think that's it would be odd that a person born into so much would never bother to notice that they have nothing to do with having that wealth and power. At least the nobles of medieval times had some sense that they owed a lot of what they had to the peasents who grew their food and shod their horses. We especially as Americans have (and again this is by design) rendered our servants invisible. I'm not saying you should hang your head in shame for having something, but that you have the obligation that any noble would have -- to not forget that you have privilege to live as you do because of the people under you. At bare minimum is the obligation not to blind yourself to the needs of the people who support you. If that's self-hate, you have a problem. If it's self-hate to say that the Chinese guy who was literally tortured for leaking an iPhone prototype is not unequal to you, then there's no point. There's no such thing as humanism if it only applies when it's comfortable and we don't have to worry our pretty little head about what happens to people who -- again by accident of birth -- have no more power than a medieval dung-shoveller.

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Yeah, that's true--didn't e... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 10:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Raylene's comment, by sunny day: | Reply

Yeah, that's true--didn't even think of that, about women working jobs that are not "senator" or "super powerful person held up as a role model in women's magazine." When I think of women I think of "woman in a magazine or newspaper," not "women I see every day," which is scary. I know some of my coworkers wear makeup, but I really don't care how much (maybe they are all born with it?)

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I hope you are an oil shill... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 11:39 PM | Posted, in reply to badger's comment, by Oelsen: | Reply

I hope you are an oil shill or something, because... you know that NASA tracks solar input? If there were a significant difference since the last 30 years, we would know it. I recommend everybody here to read some books about atmosphere, radiation and physics. May that help you understand what exactly all those scientists think about how our world works. It isn't just "oil" or "coal" or "gas". There are meters of top soil that are tilled away, burned wood and grass lands. This is carbon too, you know. But those emissions aren't within the normal Malthusian Radar, except if you are a weird nerd.

Jeeeeesus. As I wrote earlier. When the oil runs out, there isn't anything left over for feminism. Those who shoot first, won't win. Those who cooperate to kill first will win. Either by force or by voluntary abandonment of any luxury first, then sheer deindustrialization or mass murder later. Malthusian Guilt? Come on! Read that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_depletion or anything in this direction.

Answer: "But..but... the peak date set by geologists wanders into the future." Meanwhile, prices go up (additionally because of flooding the market with fiat capital), pollution by now affordable techniques expands and access to resources generally declines because of economic complexity. I envision either something like energy socialism or a dead world. There isn't Malthusian Guilt, but guilt in the sense that we anti-cornucopians see how the all devouring civilization machine works, we see input, capital stock, output and wastes. We epistemological narcissists just gaze at those feminists, gun lovers and religious nuts of all colors and ask ourselves: How can anybody argue about anything, while the very techno-social foundation for this argument seems to crumble within one generation?

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My great grandmother worked... (Below threshold)

January 28, 2013 11:46 PM | Posted by Raylene: | Reply

My great grandmother worked all her life, because she wanted to. she didn't want to marry. My mother was born in 1940. We're talking about her mother's mother, so it was quite some time ago. She ran teh post office in Valentine, nebraska. She married briefly, but he left her, she came into some money, and she wanted to keep that money, so she never married again. She had a life long affair with a man she would not marry and lived with her mother, who raised her child so she could work. she never hid who she was and how she was living, but she didn't advertise it either.
I'm not sure how she managed to not get pregnant again.
She had a cousin who was a lesbian and this woman fell in love and the two women lived together and went to church together every sunday in the Presbyterian church. Again, didn't advertise but didn't hide it either. Black women and children have always worked. Poor women have always worked. It is quite possible it was more common for wealthier women to not work but poor women have always always worked. And of course, if a farm is being operated, sometimes teh whole family worked. My father was born around 1940 and he worked as a child, and by about age 11 he worked full time. People have always adapted to their circumstances and there have always been exceptions to rules. His mother always worked.
As far as having to ask your husband for things being a form of power, that, of course, makes me understand wholeheartedly why many women would rather make their own money and get things by themselves. I love men, I'm not much of a feminist at all, but going to one person for everything you need is nerve wracking and might make you pretty sick of that one person.It might also demolish teh sexual relationship pretty easily. But again, many women had their own power--- look at all teh wealthier women who even did volunteer work and were known for their efforts to improve the community, like the Daughters of teh American Revolution or the Junior League.
Saying women "couldn't" work after marriage is just factually incorrect.
It's common sense to assume that power means one's own assumed power--- not the bits and pieces given to you by your husband. Any woman knows this. It is possible to have an exceptional relationship with your husband but I would say that is probably not that common. I would guess that most women would say their relationship is about average and not exceptional- but that's a guess.

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Funny. I'm doing my homewor... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2013 1:56 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Funny. I'm doing my homework, and just came across the famous journalist Nellie Bly, who worked basically all her life, including after she married- and she even had money, she married a millionaire. this is wikipedia:
In 1895 Nellie Bly married millionaire manufacturer Robert Seaman, who was 40 years her senior. She retired from journalism, and became the president of the Iron Clad Manufacturing Co., which made steel containers such as milk cans and boilers. In 1904, her husband died. In the same year, Iron Clad began manufacturing the steel barrel that was the model for the 55-gallon oil drum still in widespread use in the United States. Although there have been claims that Nellie Bly invented the barrel,[21] the inventor is believed to have been Henry Wehrhahn, who likely assigned his invention to her. (US Patents 808,327 and 808,413).[22] Nellie Bly was, however, an inventor in her own right, receiving US patent 697,553 for a novel milk can and US patent 703,711 for a stacking garbage can, both under her married name of Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman.[23] For a time she was one of the leading female industrialists in the United States.

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As an acne-scarred relative... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2013 4:29 AM | Posted by ....: | Reply

As an acne-scarred relative told me once, the problem with make up is that at some point it has to be taken off.

It can certainly help a woman put her foot through the door but can her personality cash that check? The danger with fixating on the first part is that it makes us forget about the second part.

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Oh my. Doesn't anyone here ... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2013 5:03 PM | Posted by crittermonster: | Reply

Oh my. Doesn't anyone here know any women (or shhhh!! maybe even men... on the sly) who use makeup simply to cover acne or scars? Why does the word "makeup" immediately imply whorish-clownish facepaint?

Sorry, men, you'll never know it, but most women are wearing makeup not to attract you but to decrease the repulsiveness of what they see in the mirror. If a woman thinks she looks fine without it, she probably doesn't waste her time.

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Decreasing repulsiveness is... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2013 5:18 PM | Posted, in reply to crittermonster's comment, by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Decreasing repulsiveness is one of my favorite activities. Unfortunately, it's not limited to the mirror, but is widespread, mostly over the Internet. I use extra strength bug spray.

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Make up on, make up. Being ... (Below threshold)

January 29, 2013 5:20 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Make up on, make up. Being concerned with the nature of decorativeness is as superficial as being concerned with being decorative. At least it is in this instance.

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How so? She is implementing... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 12:35 AM | Posted, in reply to GOTO10's comment, by TraceiG: | Reply

How so? She is implementing the Presidents' foreign policy decisions. So where is the power?

I think everyone is missing the point and the discussion is getting sidetracked.

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I dunno. I feel like rantin... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 3:19 PM | Posted by Carl Pham: | Reply

I dunno. I feel like ranting about "the system" is just one more bit of evidence of the culture of narcissism correctly diagnosed here. There isn't a "system," because "system" implies (deliberately, for would-be rescuers, lazily for those who want to get on to some other point) something rationally designed, by one or at most a few people.

There's no such thing. To the extent this "system" exists, it's just what strictly empirical trends we can infer from the massive vector sum of a a billion or so egos (some living, most now dead) and the decisions they made, and make, some conscious and some no doubt driven by subterranean impulse or sheer genetic determinism traceable to a specific locus on chromosome 22.

This "system" is like the three laws of thermodynamics, just a summary of what is empirically observed. So energy is conserved and entropy increases. Can we trace that to something wired into the physical-law DNA of each proton? Generations of mathematical physicists from Boltzmann on down have tried, and failed. There is no "why" there, at least not with our present understanding, and mathematical incompetence -- for the present it's an emergent phenomenon (wilder theorists argue epiphenomenon) that only arises from uncountable degrees of freedom of interaction. Which is science shorthand for "it just happens."

All this stuff here also just happens, so far as the science (or epiphenomenal illusion thereof) of social psychology is concerned. There is no system, no puppet master(s) pulling everybody's strings, no secret society you can expose (other than that seething behind your own brow), no Grand Knight Of The Order Of Poobahs you can assassinate and thus strike off your own chains. Your belief to the contrary is just part of the blue pill you swallowed to be happy in a chaotic and often meaninglessly sad reality.

The least sophisticated narcissist believes his chains are put on by an evil enemy, who could in principle be struck down, if only he would stop his endless shapeshifting into the accidents of virtue.

The more sophisticated believes his chains are put on by himself, and others by themselves, and preaches his evangelism of self-awareness and self-growth as ardently as the snake-worshipper. Believe! Your faith will save you!

I suggest abandoning narcissism entirely -- if this is not essentially suicidal, given our nature -- requires you to realize there are no chains per se. At which point, logic requires you to reassess the proposition that people will reliably act in their own self-interest when they know what it is, and the still more primitive proposition that people actually make effective decisions at all.

One of the unexpected side-effects of Papa Freud's proposition of the unconscious to the generic 20th and 21st century citizen is he was able to shove the disturbing evidence of decisions inexplicable by an appeal to one's self-interest and rationality into the unconscious. A previous age had to invoke the gods or fate to explain his own inexplicable behaviour. Now we have the unconscious. Or "the system."

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Because the system makes yo... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 3:48 PM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Because the system makes you narcissistic. That's part of the deal. If we stop being narcissists, we stop consuming, we stop demanding trinkets, we stop working for more status symbols and worrying that last month's fashions send the wrong message about us. So if you want to know, that's it.

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300th comment.Brin... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 4:11 PM | Posted by don: | Reply

300th comment.

Bring on the downvotes.

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I'm not sure how denying th... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 5:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Carl Pham's comment, by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

I'm not sure how denying the fact that there are really systems all over the place can enable anyone to overcome any narcissism. Certainly, there are systems and certainly humans create them.

What if someone walked around and said, "There is only me. There are no systems, no mechanisms of coordination or integration or control or hierarchies. Even if there SEEM to be systems, that is just the action of my mind, creating the illusion," would the person who proposed this be sane, or normal, or rational?

It seems to me that original, childhood narcissism starts from the position that what exists is only me and my mind, and that nothing really exists outside of me.

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You don't think there's a w... (Below threshold)

January 30, 2013 6:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Jennifer Frances Armstrong's comment, by Carl Pham: | Reply

You don't think there's a wee bit o' daylight between saying there is no system -- The System, you know, all caps, the big machine that tells everyone what to do, not the little bitty systems of the Chicago MTA or Federal Reserve -- and saying there are no systems at all? Good grief.

What if someone walked around and said, "There is only me. There are no systems...

I'd suggest he consult with an expert on autistic spectrum disorders. The first "system" of which any child becomes aware is the system of his mother's mind.

It seems to me that original, childhood narcissism starts from the position that what exists is only me and my mind, and that nothing really exists outside of me.

Fair enough. But it's not a "position" -- it's what your brain actually experiences. It takes a while before you realize there are parts of the universe that (1) exist but (2) of which you are entirely unaware at that moment (but of which you may have had knowledge before, or later). Discovering you have boundaries is a significant cognitive accomplishment.

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I dunno. I feel like ran... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2013 2:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Carl Pham's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I dunno. I feel like ranting about "the system" is just one more bit of evidence of the culture of narcissism correctly diagnosed here. There isn't a "system," because "system" implies (deliberately, for would-be rescuers, lazily for those who want to get on to some other point) something rationally designed, by one or at most a few people.

Alright I have to ask: who the hell are you replying to?

Since as far as I can tell, this is a strawman version of the critiques levelledd against the system in this comment thread. Let's not even use scarequotes here because you're fundamentally misunderstanding what is meant by the system.

Let's take a simple example from outside the thread to help us talk about what is meant by a system. For instance, Karl Marx is pretty unequivocal on what the system entails and how it operates, and so is just about any sociological model worth its salt. Is it a model that inevitably glosses over things, and one with historically contingent limitations? Is it one abused by fanatics? Yep and yep! Marx also carefully admits that historical materialism is distinctly limited in such a way, and Engels was adamant on this point.

Are some of these models just plain wrong? Do they fail to account for human irrationality and other factors outside the reach of the contemporaneous science? Yes, and that's why people still continue expand on new models and come up with new perspectives. The fascinating drunken ramblings on this blog, for instance.

The observations in this blog, as I read it at least, are not some self-absorbed theology of a centralized, ideologically-driven control machine imposed by God and/or a tiny cadre of illuminatis/masons who control the press and global finance.

These are still relationships of power. How they're justified between people vary depending on culture, class, race, gender, history, religion etc. but they do take on common themes because -- again, by your own admission -- the human reality is an observable one that does follow distinct, discernible patterns, or in this specific case, a pathology serving to reinforcing the relationship in question, namely the oppression of women.

I suggest abandoning narcissism entirely -- if this is not essentially suicidal, given our nature -- requires you to realize there are no chains per se. At which point, logic requires you to reassess the proposition that people will reliably act in their own self-interest when they know what it is, and the still more primitive proposition that people actually make effective decisions at all.

I don't see where in this blog post any of the observations devolve into a conspiracy theory that presupposes an omnipotent entity or even a system of wholly rational actors (or one entirely imposed from the top down by a central authority). There are phenomena that can be explained this way, to a much more limited degree.

It is a bit on the bizarre side to think that the "system" is also reducible to motives hidden in the unconscious, or that a kind of extreme reductionism can lead us to a thoroughly explanation in human genetics or whatever. If anything that is the type of magical thinking and systematization you want to decry.

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I skipped Carl about the sy... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2013 2:56 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

I skipped Carl about the system as I felt he was never going to get there. The system is in existence. "An object does not exist until and unless it is observed." - William Burroughs. We feel it yes, but it is usually not definable for us. However, if one reads Foucault's The Order of Things and The Archaeology of Things you will absolutely - I promise - see it clearer than anyone else here who has not read him and carefully studied him. This is the bedrock of continental philosophy.

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And the Foucauldian Grid I ... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2013 2:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

And the Foucauldian Grid I might add is the "fictional" bedrock of Rand's fiction which she wrote when Foucault was but a lad.

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Systems: hidden systems; in... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2013 9:33 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Systems: hidden systems; invisible systems ---

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FIdXrjpfXg

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Narcissism as she TLP is us... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2013 9:54 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Narcissism as she TLP is using it is an embedded attribute of the personality that forms very early. There is no ego really as the psyche is defended at every point. Spotnitz has written wonderfully about this and his clinical work addresses it.

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I have a very difficult tim... (Below threshold)

January 31, 2013 10:10 PM | Posted, in reply to Jennifer Frances Armstrong's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

I have a very difficult time listening to her words. I cannot get back in that frame to process what she says the way the comments comment. I am just not there anymore.

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Trufax: Every statement tha... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2013 4:07 PM | Posted, in reply to fgsfds's comment, by anonymous: | Reply

Trufax: Every statement that begins with "all women do/want/think/etc" is a sexist statement. The same is true with men. "All men are sexually attracted to makeup" is false and sexist.

The article is idiotic to the point of being laughable. It kind of makes me sick to think that some one who is so incapable of regarding people on an individual level might actually be in contact with people needing mental help.

Secondly, the trope he gives works BECAUSE OF HIS SEXIST BEHAVIOR. He "gives up" on the woman because his only strategy was to bully the man by comparing him to a woman.

If you're a woman: You're fucking nothing shut up bitch I won't help you. That is his response.

This whole article is so pathetic I'm glad to think it was likely written by a manic drunk.

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You have hit the nail with ... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2013 4:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You have hit the nail with the hammer. Congratulations.

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I used to want to slice my ... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2013 4:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Raylene's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

I used to want to slice my face or burn it because of this. In my teens I lost a modeling contract due to anorexia. I wasn't trying to be pretty, or perfect. I was trying to free ME, myself, even if it meant I had to die for it.

It was better to die in MY body than live in HERS secretly. I loved my disgusting bones. I loved that men constantly insulted me and told me I looked like a skeleton. If it made their dick shrink an inch that was the goal.

Why? Because I'm me. That's why.

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I am sharing this with ever... (Below threshold)

February 1, 2013 7:28 PM | Posted by eagle: | Reply

I am sharing this with everyone I know. TLP is not really blaming women for their oppression. It doesnt matter whose fault it is (although I,for one, blame the patriarchy). Only fighting on the part of the oppressed will change the status quo. Some things I've done which I believe are relevant:
- When I had a technical problem, a female friend offered to help. I felt unsure (because knee-jerk reaction) but I choked the uncertainty and trusted her. Everything went splendid.
- During a company interview,we were asked to split up into two teams. We were three girls. I was naturally inclined to go to the same team as the rest of the girls. I choked this impulse down and went alone to the other team, because grouping up in that case would be perceived as weakness.
- A cab driver made sleazy comments about a friend of mine who was 15 and eating candy more suggestively than his creepy ass could handle. I informed him (being 15 myself) that we hired him to get us from point A to point B and not to talk to us like that. My girlfriends were really shocked at me for how rude I was.

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I can't imagine why you got... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2013 1:26 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Raylene: | Reply

I can't imagine why you got down voted. It's a great comment. You're talking about your own personal self, you own feelings and experiences, and I know there are many people who would relate. It does get tiresome when people (mostly men) constantly treat you as if you are theirs and owe them something for the strong reactions and projections you evoke in them. Unlike them, you are an adult and are owning your experience. I wish the average reader of this blog was at all capable of that much. If that were the case, I don't think you would have been down voted. And of course a girl might act out to try to preserve her sense of control, try to assert herself, even if by behavior that is harmful to self. You had a good instinct there still. Lots of women can relate. I can relate.

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Is being beautiful like the... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2013 6:08 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Is being beautiful like the "burden" of being from a family of means? Come the fuck on.

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I disagree on the point. T... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2013 8:49 AM | Posted, in reply to anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I disagree on the point. The point is that women are passive recipients of titles that men have allowed them to have. Those titles are largely irrelevent because the power that the titles represented has largely fled. It's true of Congress and lawyers and so on. Those positions are symbolic of power, but they don't have actual power. And women are taking those positions in part because they think a title is power, or that having a title will make men respect the power of women.

I think that's true, but it only represents half of the picture. I personally think the reason women accept the title rather than demand the power is that they have that power themselves. They don't need to work 100 hours a week to be the CEO if they're married to the CEO, they don't need to be a lobbyist if they married one. So they take the titles so everyone will think "wow, what a powerful woman", yet really no one is fooled. We've known Congress is powerless since at least the 1980s -- no one trembles that Congress is going to pass a law, as they won't pass a law the interferes with business or banking. People do however tremble before the bankers and finance guys, as they can literally take down the economy any time they want to, they can ship your job to China or Southeast Asia if you or what remains of the federal government decides to get too demanding. It's the same trick -- if you vote to unionize, you lose your job, because we'll close that store and move 5 blocks down the road and not hire you. Or move the factory if you demand too much. What's Congress going to do? Not much, because if they did, they'll lose the money that will get them re-elected. Which is why Congress doesn't matter -- they take orders, they don't give them. Nancy Pelosi and others like her are figureheads, not leaders. It's acceptable because women have other means of getting power.

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I don't think women who mar... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2013 10:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't think women who marry into power have the same type of power as their spouse. That's a very silly answer to why so few women occupy ostensible positions of power in society. Marriage has thousands of years behind it as an institution that subjugates women and treats them as the property of men. Catherine the Great was obviously a cultural outlier.

Note that there are also plenty of women who internalize patriarchy's values and represent them among women. The distinction to look for here is in some ways analogous to the old one between the house slave and the field slave. Guess which of these prefers the trappings of power more generally?

Do you see why women are now making the choice to wear makeup?

sidenote: I realize presupposing that external influences exert power over all of us in ways that aren't just direct coercion is deeply disturbing. It's incompatible with how our culture "constructs" the makeup thing - as a choice of a rational agent that exists in a vacuum, making a choice based solely on its utility to her/him - essentially a consumerist "choice" - a classical liberal one as well.

Hence the post's emphasis on the "choice" to wear makeup. It's the sort of social empowerment through consumption that a movement that has been thoroughly co-opted by commercial media outlets like Gawker or Huffington Post make money off of would promote. And they do.

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1. Only a very few women ha... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2013 12:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

1. Only a very few women have access to the kind of power that that kind of marriage conveys. Very few and usually upper class women, and often the career, beautiful, well educated trophy wives later in life. also the way everyone uses the word "power" here is deceptive. Power/knowledge is in a relation and the two can not be separated. (Foucault's entire life work so I won't try to sound-bite it.)

Everyone saying the power is not there is correct. All the titles etc are what Lacan terms "floating signifiers" acting as masks denying what they assert. Once you begin to learn to read floating signifiers, the world we live in is much easier to understand. This entire thread shows that many are getting to the real essence of what is going on concerning women and even touching on Congress, which is now a simulacrum of "power". We all know the prez is just a puppet, a simulacrum himself, but still we argue when election time comes as if he were not.

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Yes it is. Being born into ... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2013 12:22 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Yes it is. Being born into wealth has different difficulties than being born poor. I understood beauty in a flash when I was going through Indian customs with a beautiful friend of mine. He kept her ages and ages, turning out all her luggage, practically wanting to undress her. And I realized he was doing it just to keep her there in front of him so he could look at her. The ordinary women had all gone through like a hot knife thru butter.

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Why many people get the imp... (Below threshold)

February 2, 2013 5:51 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Why many people get the impression that feminism is unlikeable:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0fJmDh9X5I

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Yes, ignorant asshole, it i... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2013 1:53 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Raylene: | Reply

Yes, ignorant asshole, it is similar. Being from a wealthy family can be quite difficult, because people like you can't empathize with the reality of the situation, thinking your own troubles to be vastly worse, and yourself the only one deserving, apparently, of compassion. As it happens, I grew up with money, as well. It has it's own problems. Not the least of which is contending with people like you.

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Maybe a start would be agre... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2013 2:04 AM | Posted by Raylene: | Reply

Maybe a start would be agreeing on what power is. It seems to me that some people posting have a definition of power, not well defined at all, as being something rather... almost representing something of which the writer has many opinions but little experience with. Talking about power with an air of knowledge may be their vicarious experience of it, and that doesn't usually lead to good writing or thought.
It makes me wonder about the psyche behind the speaker.
Power is just being able to do what you want, under certain circumstances, and being prevented from doing what you want, under others. It's a paradox. Maybe it should just be defined as: things turning out well. That at least sounds cheerier than saying it's a chimera. Or perhaps power could be defined as having any subjective experience of having it, illusory or not. Just like freedom.

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A story about being raised ... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2013 3:41 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

A story about being raised by a crypto-feminist:

I was 8 or 9 years old? We had a swimming pool. I got the idea that I was going to build a set of wings/parachute/whatever so that I could jump off the roof of our house and glide into the pool. The pilot experiment would use plastic bags. Yeah. I told my dad of my plan, because I was pretty excited.

He went into the basement and got a college-level textbook on Aerodynamics. He handed it to me and said, "When you read this whole thing, then you can jump off the roof." I got about five earnest pages into the introduction and realized that building wings requires math ability beyond arithmetic, also that I would probably break my neck.

Maybe two days later, I said to my dad, "So, I'm not going to jump off the roof. Apparently aerodynamics is really complicated." He said, "I think that's right."

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who cares?... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2013 5:51 PM | Posted by James: | Reply

who cares?

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Mr. Last, This is th... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2013 7:48 PM | Posted by aaaa: | Reply

Mr. Last,
This is the best article I've ever read on the internet. That's meant as a compliment.
a

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believing women are oppress... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2013 5:26 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

believing women are oppressed is completely moronic, the point is the insane "oppression" (as in, not literal "oppression" as envisioned by "feminists") women impose on other women.

I can't believe how many people here in the comment section talking seriously about oppression. Get a grip people!

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Anonymous usually has a poi... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2013 6:55 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

Anonymous usually has a point, in my experience, in that he wishes to think whatever he wants to, which is a fine point to have, if you happen to be he.

Actually, one can truly say that women are really only oppressed if what they do and think and say independently is reduced to some feature of their gender in a negative way.

So, if communication is read as "whining" and participation is read as ineptitude and women's existence is viewed as having an overall negative character, subject to criticism and censure and disbelief, we can say that women are truly oppressed.

But if this never happens, or hardly happens because we live in a free world, then surely there is no oppression.

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I don't think power is that... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2013 8:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Raylene's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I don't think power is that hard to understand -- it's simply the ability to get other people to obey. If I have power over you, I can get you to do what I want to or say what I want or think what I want you to think. That's power. The more I can take control of how you live, the more power I have over you.

It's not all that complex, except that people don't always like to admit they have power.

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Your concept of power is of... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2013 8:24 PM | Posted by seymourblogger: | Reply

Your concept of power is of a past time. Power dowes not exist alone. Power is always in a relation with knowledge, it is the power/knowledge Grid, Mesh, Matrix so painfully and exhaustively described by Foucault. No one in cutting edge thinking anymore uses power as something someone has, gives, trades, uses, or anything else. Power lies in the micro interstices of the grids exerting itself on the body, the mine, the organs, even your very cells. Now you can dominate someone, but you cannot hold power over them. This is post modern thinking and once you jettison the old baggage, a new world opens up to you.

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I'm definitively one of tho... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 10:27 AM | Posted by Madeline Alonso: | Reply

I'm definitively one of those women who would NEVER conceive going through a day without make up! Great, great article!!

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I don't know if it's late b... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 6:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Jennifer Frances Armstrong's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't know if it's late but I can't understand if your post has any logic or meaning. What I seem to understand is that once someone dismissed the opinion of a woman, ergo women are oppressed, or something. I'll try to read your post again with a fresher mind

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I bet an American will spea... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 6:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

I bet an American will speak up now and say that I said one of them was remarkably stupid. I don't know. I'll try to see if there is any meaning in what this person said if I wake up.

(Americans!!!)

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I think the message is: The... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 8:24 PM | Posted by Arthur: | Reply

I think the message is: The world sucks. What will you do with your life?

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There are no metaphysical s... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2013 9:26 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

There are no metaphysical solutions to the problem of gender. Eschewing showiness is an idea that has its basis in moral reasoning, but the continuation of gender hierarchies do not depend on the presence of particular characteristics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDFebbdyOcQ

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I am assuming you know Judi... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2013 10:21 PM | Posted, in reply to Jennifer Frances Armstrong's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

I am assuming you know Judith Butler's work on gender. That gender is socially constructed. Wearing make up is a social behavior that is part of the social construction of gender. To go into all the psychological garbage about for and against, etc etc that this thread has been dwelling on just indicates that few people here have opened themselves to continental philosophy. The psychological is part of the dying Dominating Discourse.

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Django was an uncomfortable... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2013 11:03 PM | Posted by wytro: | Reply

Django was an uncomfortable ass movie. Nothing I've ever seen about slavery has affected me so much, probably because something like Amistad or Roots so overwhelms the guilt-circuits that nothing can be taken in. Neither, as I recall, have the depth of ambiguity as Django… I don't remember any black "turncoats" in either of them (but maybe my guilt-circuits don't allow me to).

In Alone's story, to follow the Django metaphor, the women who watched another woman nearly (?) get raped, and then putatively bitched at the girl for kicking the guy in the face, were just like Stephen, the head house slave, or Django on his horse when he watched the beat-up old slave get ripped apart by dogs… even invited Candie to do it.

At both of these inflection points, Stephen and Django were despicable.

At both points, they had a purpose (self-preservation) and they had power (the power to object, to counsel) but they refused to use it to further their own agendas. They were (semi-)outside the system, and yet complicit.

You want to hate their craven, selfish guts, but at the same time, you squirmingly understand that the system put them in that place to begin with. Yet they still had agency. They could have objected. They could have not actively led things along. Because Django goads Candie into tearing up that slave with his dogs, and Stephen outs Brunhilde's connection on purpose. Neither were accidental. Both were acts of evil.

Candie's sister -- his SISTER, not wife, for you people who weren't really paying attention -- was similar. She had power. Not as much power as a white man but she clearly had more than a slave. She was complicit, happy to take a slave comfort girl up to a German visitor to explore her ample vagina, as TLP said. Certainly she reveled in her superiority.

Django was a helluva lot smarter of a movie than people give it credit for. They just hear the "nigger" and they just saw the gratuitous squibs in the gunfight and they went "Yay! Kill the white lady!" and "Yay! Django got his Brunhilde and escaped!" — and they hated Candie and they hated Stephen… but never questioned the fact that nobody chose their roles, the whole system fucked everyone, in the end. That the hero, Django, was just as morally ambiguous and loathable as head house slave Stephen… if not more so.

The only person who chose his role was Dr King Schultz, a foreigner. He was a dentist; he became a bounty hunter. He was neither born a slave nor a slave owner. If he had an origin story of how the system made him a bounty hunter out of fate and not agency, we didn't hear it. He freed Django like an act of god. Not because Django "deserved" it, but simply because Django had a fact that Schultz wanted. But we know that despite his crustiness, Schultz was good. Even when he was goading Django into shooting a man (however guilty) from a great distance, right in front of his kid.

And naturally, the one true character expresses his true freedom in a final capstone act — the only true freedom in the whole movie — by shooting Candie right at the apogee of the film. When you think it's over, and Django and Brunhilde will get away no more worse for wear. Schultz shoots Candie because Candie disgusts him and because Schultz is the only free character in the whole damn charade. And so King Schultz dies, because he was the only truly free man, the only man who seized power instead of having it conferred.

That was when the movie ended for me. The rest of the movie didn't hang together like the part before Schultz's death. It's like the studios went back to Tarantino and said "What? You can't end like that. Give us some fucking squibs. We want an improbable gunfight."

Honestly, I hadn't seen any Tarantino movies between Deathless and Django. I don't watch Nazi movies. So I was quite aghast at the whole thing… ridiculous gunfights, I was prepared for; to feel real feelings for Schultz, I was not. To have to look away from true emotional violence (the man torn apart by dogs, the two slaves fighting to the death and the winner thanking Candie so pathetically for a beer, Brunhilde coming out of the hotbox…). I was shocked, surprised, not sure I really want to say "delighted" because it was an emotional abuser of a movie, but props, Tarantino. Props.

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I think you would like darr... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2013 11:49 PM | Posted, in reply to wytro's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

I think you would like darren in Dublin Ireland's review of Django. He is on your wavelength. He is consistently the most informed of any reviewer I read. http://www.them0vieblog.com so I hope you link there. I love Tarantino also.

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DAE object to Candie's sist... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2013 5:25 PM | Posted by Aaron: | Reply

DAE object to Candie's sister being killed so frivolously? The gales of laughter elicited from the audience by the way she was killed were also pretty unsettling.

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Hilarious that it hasn't oc... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2013 6:56 PM | Posted by cali cooper: | Reply

Hilarious that it hasn't occurred to anyone that some women wear make up because it's fun. Dressing up is fun. The masquerade is fun. I'd wear make up if everyone else in the world was blind because I like how it looks. I like my face too, but I can't naturally have blue eyelids or blood-red lips. That's where choice comes into the equation. If you're doing it because you feel obligated to, that sucks. But if you enjoy it, the reason doesn't matter. That would include, imo, male attention. Although it is distressing to see so many women addicted to male attention or approval (even in the comments here, note how many feel the need to say 'and I'm a woman!' when stating their opinion. Please, can I please be in the cool boy's club?).

Anyway, it isn't much of a revelation that women are often groomed to be agents of the patriarchy. But I think the examples givnn were poor. The expectation that a woman should be more likely to help another woman being raped ignores the social dynamics. Women are, first and foremost, people and most people can be kept in check by social pressure. The girls in the room didn't help for the same reason that the boys in the room didn't. It wasn't an issue of gender to them. It was a person they didn't know being hurt by people they did know. Period. No gender dynamics, no "my fellow woman." Are we really surprised that there isn't total solidarity among 50% of the earth's population? Women are individuals, with different needs, different concerns, various interests, conflicting opinions and of course different levels of education and life experience. Human beings aren't set up to be naturally altruistic towards each other unless we're related. In order for us to assume there is something wrong with the girls in the room not coming to another's aid, we have to believe that without the oppressive system, they'd naturally do so.

I don't think they would. With slaves we can point to physical structures and practices that they all witnessed and were all aware of. Every slave knew slavery, they knew their position, they felt it. But with Patriarchy, not all women even agree it exists. Many women have never heard the word. Many women have never been raped and either haven't experienced sexism or didn't recognize it when it happened. You have to be aware of a system to want to dismantle it.

And I actually don't think we need to focus on teaching men not to rape, we need to focus on teaching them what qualifies as consent. Because a lot of rapists don't think of themselves as rapists and would be pretty appalled if someone called them one.

Anyway, erroneously labeling Anonymous as "men" was intellectually dishonest (much about this writing style is). And I agree the writer seems to be ignoring the fact that it was a woman who broke the story and allowed anonymous to pursue it in the first place.

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Excellent comment. thank yo... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2013 7:55 PM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Excellent comment. thank you.

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Awesome article. I'm not s... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 1:26 AM | Posted by Beydan: | Reply

Awesome article. I'm not sure how much of it I agree with but I always find your writing very good at giving food for thought, which is something that is sorely lacking in this world. I'll chew on the points made in this article for a while and have been made that much wiser for it.

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A related point made in a d... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 10:11 AM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

A related point made in a different TLP article, talks about women at a bar having all having "Jennifer Aniston" hair.

The women that acknowledge the resemblance, but like it because they like it, are perfectly healthy.
If they completely deny a resemblance (or that male attention may factor into the enjoyment of makeup wearing), look out.

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You're the kind of dude who... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 10:59 AM | Posted by Betina: | Reply

You're the kind of dude who thinks he has the universal perspective, and is able to authoritatively comment on everything, which is why, probably, you don't get why Valenti didn't actually expand on the ad. First off, it's a tweet. Secondly, it's generally accepted in activist communities (though definitely not widely enough) that people are specialists in their own experiences, i.e. Valenti is not a man, and furthermore focuses on women's issues professionally, therefore she doesn't feel she can expand on the issue, but will still point out something she finds interesting (again, in a fucking tweet.) No, she definitely means "we" outside of Feministing, which is the reason she refrained from writing a 1,000 word post on the matter in the first place. Not writing something because you don't feel knowledgeable enough is something women are more likely to do. The further down you go on a social scale, the more likely that's to happen. You, on the other hand, are seemingly incapable of shutting up and listening, as are many (though definitely not all) men.

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I think that criticism towa... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 11:09 AM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I think that criticism toward the lack of solidarity between women was aimed more at the inability (or shallow treatment) of the commercial media's co-opted pseudo-feminism to deal with the notion that women are complicit in patriarchy (and by my own inference, the goals of feminism in general).

This phenomenon of blog/news magazine "feminism" has devolved into a lifestyle branding gimmick and not something oriented toward genuine freedom or power, just the appearances thereof.

All of this is a pretty common marketing and PR technique and it is applied to all demographics in marketing in America.

That it's actually worked its way into inflecting how we talk about parts of our society that are/were powerful, like the Senate, should give people pause IMO.

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I think here it's also nece... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 4:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by cali cooper: | Reply

I think here it's also necessary to acknowledge that "feminism" isn't one philosophy, specifically the differences between second and third wave.

Whereas a second wave feminism is likely to argue a woman wanting something because a man likes it is problematic, a third wave feminist is more likely to argue that the autonomy is what's important and why she wants it is none of anyone's business.

The confusion arises because both of these viewpoints are identified simply as "feminist." And instead of being seen as different schools of thought, they are viewed as conflicting or hypocritical ideals within a single movement.

I don't know a single third wave feminist unaware that women often (and enthusiastically) perpetuate the patriarchy. One only has to look at FGM practices in Islamic countries and see who most fiercely defends the practice. It's not the men.

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The last movie of the great... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 4:30 PM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

The last movie of the great radical Ousmane Sembene from Senegal - Moolaade - is about cutting of young girls and you are correct. Now it seems that American women are going in for plastic surgery genital cutting to make their vagina look tighter, cleaner less floppy looking to the tune of $5000 or so. Oh well, it's about the same as make up, right! LOL!

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Ah good, 2nd/3rd wave disti... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2013 7:18 PM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Ah good, 2nd/3rd wave distinction is something I've heard of but not to well schooled on the nuances.

Also, yeah I think the focus I assume in the blog post here is more on elements that have been co-opted and hired to sell products and shape the discourse to subtly perpetuate the patriarchy through clickbait blog posts. They're not serious academics or social justice activists, but they are some of the loudest voices nonetheless.

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This is a great read for wo... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2013 9:39 PM | Posted by Marla Lewis: | Reply

This is a great read for women. I have always taught my daughters to be independent and forward thinking because there is no Cinderella nor sleeping beauty in real life. I wear make up because Im defiant of the notion that pretty women are weak women. Even at the gym, being feminine rocks.

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Well, they may not be compl... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 8:41 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Well, they may not be complicit in the "patriarchy, but I do think they're complicit in the Matrix. Think about the Obama cabinet, he was criticized for having too few women in his cabinet. But there are other ways that the Obama cabinet was far from diverse. It was probably 99% white, almost all of them were the upper part of the upper class, from wealthy families, That's not remotely diversity. And I think Feminism especially opening the doors of such places to women (provided of course that they come from the proper upper crust background) is a way to prevent real diversity.

The things that an upper class white woman wants are probably 90% in line with what an upper class white man wants. If it was an upper class black man, he might very well have different ideas of what to do. Which I think is the reason why some "rights movements" are more equal than others. It's not about a woman (or gays for that matter) getting power, it's about using women and gays to prevent racial minorities from getting power. If "diversity" can be achieved by having upper class white women and upper class white gays then you don't have to let blacks have power at all. After all, you already have minorities in power, I mean we hired the CFO's gay son and the wife of a politician, so we don't need to worry about diversity. Check and check. So now we go on with doing whatever we want and we're above criticism because if someone notices our demographics, we point out the gay guy and the woman. Diversity without viewpoint diversity isn't diversity, yet that's what happens -- rich people from rich backgrounds decide, which is why good ideas get left behind.

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Exactly. They are used as "... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 8:48 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Exactly. They are used as "floating signifiers" which act as masks to dissemble what they appear to assert - reading through Lacan. And our BLACK president is far WHITER than I am.

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I sincerely hope by "more w... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 9:26 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I sincerely hope by "more white" you're referring to his literal ethnicity and not his culture. I hate it when people argue Obama isn't "black enough." Anyone who would be forced sit in a "coloreds only" section is "black enough."

And once we begin to understand that American construction of "black" (which obviously comes from the one drop rule) we realize that white (and "whiteness") is also a construct. I'd see both identities dismantled.

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"And I actually don't think... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 1:49 PM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"And I actually don't think we need to focus on teaching men not to rape, we need to focus on teaching them what qualifies as consent. Because a lot of rapists don't think of themselves as rapists and would be pretty appalled if someone called them one."

I think you should focus on not seeing men as mindless idiotical animals to teach and educate, and realize that 99% of men are civilized people who won't even fantasize about rape.

I feel sorry for rape victims (of course) but when people (feminists) go on and on about the need of "teaching men to" I feel legitimately threatened, and my concern switches from rape victims to all these ugly, insane feminists hell bent on "teaching" men.

Rapists are wicked people, if they didn't learn not to rape (or if they did, and they don't care), the focus should be on teaching women how to defend themselves and everyone how to get involved (using force, even in revenge, directed at the rapist, instead of brainwashing- I mean "teaching" whatever to men as a whole, as if they were brainless troglodytes.)

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your posting is a construct... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 1:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

your posting is a construct

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Nice comments anyway people... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 1:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Nice comments anyway people, full of novel and refreshing ideas like "races are a construct" and "we must teach men not to rape". I feel my brain has been so refreshed by these novel concepts and insights that it feels like I'm an entirely new person

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Having worked with Joseph W... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 3:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Having worked with Joseph Wolpe in his Behavior Therapy Unit at EPPI in the 1970's it was there that therapy was done with rapists. Their profile was rather simple. They could not make eye contact with a woman, were too anxious to talk to a woman, could not date a woman, and so could not engage in sex with a woman because they could not get to that point. Desensitization was the initial treatment of choice. To pictures of women, clothed, then finally nude. Then desensitization in vivo with a woman, often a female therapist. Dating in vivo and finally a paid sex surrogate provided the sexual encounter in vivo. It was a long process and expensive. Probably not as expensive as keeping a rapist in jail, but then prisons have their own intersection with capitalism that continues to grow and grow and grow.

So those of us who worked with them do not see them as evil, as bad, as criminal, but as men who are very fearful of women and so anxious in their presence that any social interaction is not possible for them.

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I agree that "blackness and... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 3:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

I agree that "blackness and whiteness" are socially constructed. I also see that Obama's first cabinet was composed of a number of "white financial suits", who had been influential in creating the mess. As Einstein has said, - paraphrasing - the minds that got us in the mess are not likely to be the ones to get us out of it. What they have done is inflate like crazy to pay off those trillions to the banks, their gambling debts instead of letting them crash. That they are going to crash later or sooner is inevitable. Gas is not going up, the price of gas is not inflated, the dollar is tanking. We are in what Douglas Casey has described as an inflationary depression. He predicted it in the 1980's but it was held off. Now it is world wide, leaving no currency a safe place to hold your money as they all "float" relative to one another. All the currencies are being devalued, and that is what inflation is. Obama is holding it together for one last squeeze, and it will be the last. Reagan and Volcker raised the interest rates to cut it in the 1980's. This cannot be repeated. Interest rates are at historic lows, the economy is crap, so you raise the rates and well do I need to say more.

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They are not wicked, just t... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 3:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

They are not wicked, just terrified of women. See my post below that is anonymous by mistake on Behavior Therapy with rapists.

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I read that, interesting. A... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 3:45 PM | Posted, in reply to seymourblogger's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I read that, interesting. Anyway, wicked or not, I think it's obvious that rapists are a specific segment of the population, and we don't need ugly feminists to teach "men" as a whole not to rape. Usually they use the need to "teach men" just to air their grievances that are mostly unrelated to actual rapes

Anyway, please post more on that because it sounds interesting

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They are not wicked, jus... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 4:05 PM | Posted by Pup Tentacle: | Reply

They are not wicked, just terrified of women.

You're not stupid, you're just afraid of rejecting stereotyping, which means you're afraid of critical thinking.

Cool story though, hyperfeminist broheem. Nice job of implying it's all about being XY and all due to The Patriarchy.

Maybe you should go hang out at Shakesville.

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Lolz, 99% of men, is that r... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 4:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by cali cooper: | Reply

Lolz, 99% of men, is that right? Is that why 1/3 of the women in the military are raped by male peers? Is that why 1 in 5 American women have been sexually assaulted? Is that why when surveying college aged men about rape, one in 12 admitted behavior that meets the legal definition of rape but 86% didn't label it as rape?

The truth is that a lot of young men think rape is holding someone down and having sex with them while they kick and scream. They don't think having sex with someone who is passed out is rape. They think that if they have a sexual relationship with a woman and she says no, she just needs to be convinced. They think that a totally silent, unblinking rigid girl underneath of them is consenting. So yeah, I think we do need to talk about consent with young men. It has nothing to o with feminism and everything to do with expectations of social interactions. I'm pretty sure no guy wants to accidentally rape a chick. No harm would come from discussing what is and isn't rape. It's not brainwashing, for the love of god.

And I never said women shouldn't be taught self-defense. But that isn't always an option. And since most women are raped by people they know, the nonsense about avoiding strangers and not walking home when it's dark and blah blah blah doesn't prevent rape.

We were able to change the cultural attitude about spousal rape by teaching men and women that forcing your spouse to have sex *is* rape. It's now something frowned upon when just a few decades ago, it was legal. And that didn't come from a "don't rape" campaign. It came from a "what you're doing is rape" campaign.

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1970 was forty years ago. Y... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 4:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by cali cooper: | Reply

1970 was forty years ago. You should read this reddit thread from various men who have raped women and what they have to say about why and how.

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/x6yef/reddits_had_a_few_threads_about_sexual_assault/

A lot of it comes down to entitlement and not understanding body language/consent.

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you seem to have memorized ... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 4:45 PM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you seem to have memorized a lot of (dubious) percentages on men being a race of rapists

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What makes you think I memo... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 4:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by cali cooper: | Reply

What makes you think I memorized them? Although the women in the military percentage is very well known and likely much higher. A woman in the US military is much more likely to be raped by a male peer than killed in combat.

If you'd like citations, just ask. They aren't dubious at all. Most women I know have been raped and all have had someone try. I didn't realize until I was older, but it is just incredibly common.

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And "male" isn't a race.</p... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 4:53 PM | Posted by cali cooper: | Reply

And "male" isn't a race.

The problem isn't men, it's our culture that reinforces certain ideas. Like I said, spousal rape was fine until it wasn't.

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Alone: Do y... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 5:35 PM | Posted by jonny: | Reply

Alone: Do you want power, or the trappings of power?

...the town's defense amazingly appears to be she was a slut and she was asking for it, and my point is: so what? Why didn't the other women stop it anyway? Why didn't they just rise up?

Because the other women and the rapists were perceiving the same corrupted version of reality. They viewed the girl the same way; had the other women been guys, some would no doubt have joined in the 'fun'. The other women didn't stop it because they'd been corrupted by the system; they'd gotten their shameful desires under control. As conformists, they'd automatically despise girls who couldn't or wouldn't control their shameful biological desire.

There is no person we hate so much as the person who represents the things about ourselves we are secretly ashamed of. When I was trying to please everyone I met decades ago, I would be anything to anyone if I thought it might impress them (clearly, I had a non-existent Self).

No one I've ever met was as fake as I being, but whenever I'd come across someone who was clearly fake, they'd disgust me. No one likes that kind of a mirror.

I was doing it all to impress girls but all I could really ever achieve was to sweep guys off their feet. Some would rave & gush in delight. We'd bond straight away. Occasionally their bursts of exuberance made things very awkward for everybody but whenever I slipped up or if someone noticed my stories were a little shifty, I would quickly wriggle out of trouble almost every time. I think this is because guys want to believe or perhaps they're simply not as prone to second-guessing their initial impression.

Girls however, wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. It would drive me to hysterics trying to figure out what I could have possibly said or done to some girl who had just taken an immediate dislike to me. There were a lot of girls who did that.

There is no person we hate so much as the person who represents the things about ourselves we are secretly ashamed of. I swept guys off their feet but I couldn't fool girls. They saw my sleazy fraud coming from a mile away, and they were disgusted. No one likes that kind of a mirror.


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Matt: The f... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 6:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Matt's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Matt: The flipside to the question "Why don't women empower themselves?" is the question "Why do men continue to oppress women?"

The answer is that The System of male power sustains itself. It never enters men's heads to relinquish their power, in the same way that it never enters women's heads to grasp REAL power.

I think you're correct but I disagree in your assertion that it sustains itself. There is far too much acid flying around for that to be true. To determine who is sustaining the system, simply identify the acid-throwers (whether real or virtual, the acid destroys girls fairly conclusively and often fatally [Amanda Todd was a victim of Society's virtual acid]).

The Answer is that The System of male power is sustained by religion, in tandem with women. They couldn't do it without women because, in the race to imprint children with countless versions of corrupted images, mothers will always be first.

Mothers who buy into the religious lie and taken ownership of it are responsible for sustaining the status quo. But everyone is guilty, really. Girls who don't care for the acid are dangled the 'opportunity' to exploit the unfathomable credulity of guys responding to corrupted market forces (religious-induced hoarding), who stupidly engage each other in fierce competition to treat girls Right (spoil them, literally). It's all wrong. So, so wrong. Girls who are treated Right their entire lives have no incentive to increase the value of their mind; and when they do realise their aesthetic appeal is fading with time, they find themselves trapped between the rock that is [their incapacity / aversion to rolling up their sleeves to earn their keep] and the hard place that is [the irrational Toddler entitlement to which they've become accustomed].

With their undeveloped & largely wasted minds (predominantly expended on gender-defeating [i.e. species-defeating] competitive games involving illusions of perception that aren't even real, like beauty [which is not in the eye of the beholder but rather in their conditioned perception*]), girls exploited by their own preference for preferential treatment find themselves racing the clock as the body in which they've sunk most of their investment capital is inevitably traded down to zero on the public market. Before time runs out, a man must be caught. A union must be formed between a deceived host and the desperate leech (and you know, wanting a legal or social contract to bind someone to your side when they don't wish to remain is not insane at all, but only if you're into domestic violence). A child or children must be produced to seal the sordid affair, at which point everything turns to custard for Humanity.

*SE Asia's obsession with skin whitening cream v the West's obsession with tanning salons; for example. Beauty is a product of conditioned perception, and no two humans perceive the same reality.

Because what could a girl who has been treated Right her entire life possibly know about intelligent child-raising? All she will know is how to love and lie and run emotional game on her children. And surprise, surprise, that's how children are raised. Mothers only Know Best how to survive a world of emotionally insane men produced by the mothers who preceded them. When they've been treated Right their entire life, mothers cannot be expected to know anything conducive to intelligent child-raising. Their children will not be raised to think critically or suspiciously, logically or reasonably, pragmatically or rationally; they will not be (un)emotionally stable and sane. They will not be practised experts in decision-making in uncertainty nor will they be given the opportunity to take ownership of their own choices which includes learning to wear the subsequent consequences of ill-advised or hasty decisions.

Children don't need their mother's compassion, sympathy and pity! DH Lawrence never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself and neither have I; have you? Mothers emotionally degrade their children with these self-defeating religious constructs (jealousy, revenge, avarice, envy, vindictiveness, spite, scorn, inferiority, superiority, malice, cruelty, entitlement by 'right' of birth, fear, terror, bravery, charity, justice [2 eyes, 2 teeth = 4 injuries that are less likely to deter further injury than ignite vendetta], law, morality, respect for things unrelated to merit, hatred, love etc) - none of this insane religious corruption has ever served anyone's interests but they will make an entire species face-plant fairly compulsively.

Children need accurate information and honest intelligence. They don't need their mother's emotional degradation; her shame, her fears, her anti-social behaviour, her obsession with deceit for the purposes of manipulation (diplomacy, politeness, etiquette, manners, small talk - all as insulting and degrading and transparent as lying for social cohesion & diplomacy has ever been). Children don't need to be raised to please their mothers or to please the creepy public-at-large.

Children need to be raised to please themselves, to motivate themselves, to act in their own Selfish best interests (which will include the best interests of Humanity unless the child is retarded / insane / incapable of perceiving the optimality of mutual advantage). Children don't need to be protected from reality with surreptitious fantasy & make-believe; they need to be protected from those who would patronise them with the degrading and outrageous lie that suggests children cannot handle the truth and therefore must be lied to (for their sake, of course).

The second greatest lie ever sold to (and bought wholesale by) our species is that children need to be raised to love their mothers. Whoa.

To what end does this serve? Nowhere in the animal kingdom will you see this; it's supposed to be the other way around, with the mother willing to lay down her life as a deterrent mechanism but only for the shortest amount of time it takes to make their offspring independent and capable of protecting themselves. In humans, we do things insanely differently. Mothers make their children dependant; they're drowned in emotional toxins leaving them pliable and manipulable and irrefutably susceptible to exploitation. Mean words. They hurt like sticks and stones, when you've been the victim of your mother's emotional molestation. Mothers lie to their children to protect them. It's for the child's sake, the Protection racket. Of course.

This horrific cycle is serving no one's interests but it is not men but women who are sustaining it; girls who want to be treated Right and mothers lying to their sons about women and sex, corrupting their minds with religious impurities and emotional filth. As a result, men simply cannot respect honest girls. Men can only respect dishonest girls who manipulate them, play filthy games of coy, coquette, demure and reduce them with creepy emotional smear.

Girls need to stop imagining it is in their interests to exploit male credulity for preferential or entitled treatment. Guys need to stop enabling this misogynistic carry-over from the Dark Ages. The only Right way to treat a human being of any gender is with equality and honesty and an appreciation that you are investing in your own future welfare. This is the only true Selfishness. Religion fucked you all senseless.

Playing the Blame Game is insane because this madness is destroying everybody. No one is advantaging from the misery generated by the oldest, dumbest lie ever sold to (and bought wholesale) by our idiotic species. Only Truth can save this miserable wretch of a failed species, and all the problems in the world are sourced from this very issue (which might be why Alone is drilling away at it).

First, the lie needs to become an anathema. It's 100% Yahweh religious corruption and misogyny perhaps most aptly illuminated not by the vicious hatred in the OT towards women but by the vicious hatred in the NT directed at women remaining true to their biology:

John 8:10-11 (KJV) 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Women, stop condemning girls who remain true to their biological advantages over men. I've not met a girl who didn't instantly know what I was talking about; but some men are awfully confused.

[Tiresias] beheld snakes copulating on Cyllene, and that having wounded them he was turned from a man into a woman, but that on observing the same snakes copulating again, he became a man. Hence, when Hera and Zeus disputed whether the pleasures of love are felt more by women or by men, they referred to him for a decision. He said that if the pleasures of love be reckoned at ten, men enjoy one and women nine. Wherefore Hera blinded him.

Hera throwing that acid. Mothers who desire careers as housewives raise their(?) children to love and please them, and they imagine this to be power. They're believe they're in control but it's the opposite; they've been controlled. Stupid Toddler fools and their vile acid and hatred of truth.

Go, and LIE no more. Or do, what do I care. It's almost certainly all going up in mushroom clouds when the resources run out. 5000 years of lies, deceit, acid and emotional insanity? With no threats or enemies in a world of ludicrous abundance for all? Oh bravo humans. You love your games.

This one was nicely played.

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Asking why slaves ... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2013 7:48 PM | Posted, in reply to Spectacular Views's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Asking why slaves didn't rise up is like asking why prisoners don't. They outnumber the guards, after all. So are they just mentally conditioned by the system to sit tight? Or are they deterred by the metal bars, armed guards, security systems, chained gates, and x billion humans willing to act as watchdogs? Lots of amazing insight here as usual, but maybe don't use slavery as an example in your next "the problem is you" exposé.

Your argument is babbling nonsense that reveals your ignorance of historical facts widely known to small children. Do you think slaves in the South were guarded by metal bars, armed guards, security systems, chained gates and x billion human watchdogs?

Mother of god. How do you imagine such nonsense and then make a comical recommendation based off your idiotic conclusion that slaves were prisoners? When Alone says "the problem is you", I mean I don't speak for the man but I'd wager a testicle he really means the problem is YOU. In particular.

There was a fellow, went by the name of John Brown. You heard of this man? Fine chap, top brand of human (even if he was a subscriber to Yahweh's insanity). He'd be the sort of man you'd go over the top with if he looked you in the eye and said, "This is to be done and we are to be the ones to do it."

Great man. Not just an American hero but a Hero of Humanity. He was hung for treason by the government and, to be fair, he was guilty. He was oh-so-heroically-guilty, one fairly greens with envy at his guilt. What this man did was amazing. With his sons and just a few men, he freed all the slaves in Virginia one day in 1859. True story.

He took Harper's Ferry where some moron afraid of a slave uprising had placed 100,000 rifles. John Brown and his men took those rifles, they took control of the entire armoury. With 100,000 rifles and control of the armoury, with only some drunken townspeople firing pot shots at them, they were then able to free all the slaves in Virginia.

This was to be the plan:

Brown intended to use those rifles and pikes he captured at the arsenal, in addition to those he brought along, to arm rebellious slaves with the aim of striking terror in the slaveholders in Virginia. He believed that on the first night of action, 200-500 black slaves would join his line. He ridiculed the militia and regular army that might oppose him. He planned to send agents to nearby plantations, rallying the slaves. He planned to hold Harpers Ferry for a short time, expecting that as many volunteers, white and black, would join him as would form against him. He would move rapidly southward, sending out armed bands along the way. They would free more slaves, obtain food, horses and hostages, and destroy slaveholders' morale. Brown planned to follow the Appalachian Mountains south into Tennessee and even Alabama, the heart of the South, making forays into the plains on either side.

He literally accomplished all that.

Just one tiny problem that John Brown didn't foresee. It's something someone like Alone would see coming but someone like you? You'd never see it coming.

It's kind of embarrassing for John Brown because you see, it was all a big misunderstanding. There were no slaves in Virginia in 1859. I know right. Who knew?

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"and "male" isn't a race" c... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 3:32 AM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"and "male" isn't a race" completely pedantic, that line was an obvious joke, what a superior intelligence...

anyway, it seems like we live in two completely different worlds, or maybe every man is really a rapist and I'm the last non rapist on earth. In that case, good luck with solving the problem with teaching instead of just arming yourself and fighting back rapists.

Just know that I don't think feminists should arrogantly claim the moral right to "teach" men how to do whatever, especially when your "non rape" message would just fall on the ears of who doesn't rape already.

Also please if you want to argue further, don't post meme- non arguments like "every second, 100% of women are raped" or "don't teach women how to defend themselves and how to reduce risks, teach men how not to rape" (why would you ever want not to teach women how to defend themselves and how to be cautious is beyond my comprehension. Also how the hell can you claim that modern society doesn't teach men that raping is bad? Pure hysterical insanity), how can you assume anyone didn't hear these non-arguments, non-truths a billion times before? It's obvious I don't agree.

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Uh. But I never said women ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 4:01 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Cali cooper: | Reply

Uh. But I never said women shouln't be taught self-defense. In fact I said, in a post, that was helpful sometimes too (but certainly not always.)

Honestly I don't think you read my entire post. If you go to the reddit post I linked to, you'll see a lot of men who raped women and didn't know until afterwards.

And it's not just men who need to be taught what consent is and isn't. My 86% stat isn't a meme. It's pretty consistent. Men will say "rape is bad" and then, when given less common scenarios that still meet the legal definition of rape, they'll often say it's okay.

That's not malicious intent or "all men are evil" it's a lot of people genuinely not knowing that if you have sex with a woman, then get drunk and she passes out, you having sex with her the second time is rape.

Again, it worked just fine with spousal rape.

But wait, I'm sure you'd rather against man-hating straw feminists so: ALL MEN ARE VIOLENT RAPISTS AND THEIR RAPE GENE NEEDS TO BE DEACTIVATED EARLY ON WITH INDOCTRINATION OR THEY ARE A TICKING RAPE BOMB. WOMEN SHOULD NEVER LEARN SELF-DEFENSE OR TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY BECAUSE THAT'S...OFFENSIVE OR SOMETHING

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You are a fanatic about rap... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 4:11 AM | Posted, in reply to Cali cooper's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

You are a fanatic about rape. The second time in lovemaking is rape? Gimme a break. How do you know the woman isn't feigning passing out? Why would you get drunk afterwards anyway?

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I was giving an example of ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 4:49 AM | Posted, in reply to abbeysbooks's comment, by Cali cooper: | Reply

I was giving an example of something that is legally rape (in many US states, if you dont like the law, take it up elsewhere?) but that many people are unaware of.

Your reaction of "that's totally not rape" actually proves my point. You're a person who would possibly commit the act and not be aware that you could be charged with sexual assault.

Like I said, we all know rape is bad, but way too many of us don't know what rape *is*. I assume by "fanatic" you mean "more well informed than I am."

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Over at Partial Ob... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 7:05 AM | Posted by Pivot: | Reply

Over at Partial Objects...Today is the day

http://partialobjects.com/2012/12/february-13-2013-the-school-shooting-pivot-date/#comments

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Well, yes and no. I would ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 9:53 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

Well, yes and no. I would refer to him as an upper class black man, which means yes, he's black, but I think there are differences that would make his viewpoint more in line with his CLASS rather than his race. He never went to a ghetto school in the inner city where most kids were going to look forward to a life of either prison or manual labor. He wasn't raised in a neighborhood where drugs and guns were everywhere. So in that sense, he doesn't have the same type of experiences of a poor kid from the ghetto.

Obama lived a life of privilege -- he travelled the world, he got to go to elite universities. For a lot of middle to lower middle class people, that would be impossible. And so to my mind he's Upper Class FIRST, then black, because having money has a great deal of impact on what kinds of things are normal to you.

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You always see others as no... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 10:46 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Raaylene: | Reply

You always see others as not-yourself, as other, have you noticed that? It's really freaking annoying. Then you talk about those others as if you know all about them, which is ironic. Do you ever simply talk about what you yourself know?

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Dear Johnny,this i... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 10:53 AM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Raylene: | Reply

Dear Johnny,

this is you: preseveration

repetition  [rep-i-tish-uhn] Show IPA
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: duplication; doing again
Synonyms: alliteration, broken record, chant, chorus, copy, echo, encore, ingemination, iteracy, iterance, iteration, litany, paraphrase, periodicity, perseveration , practice, reappearance, recapitulation, recital, recurrence, redundancy, rehearsal, reiteration, relation, renewal, reoccurrence, repeat, repetitiousness, replication, report, reproduction, restatement, return, rhythm, rote, staccato, tautology
Antonyms: instance

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This is erroneous. He isn't... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 11:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

This is erroneous. He isn't a poor black person, or a poor white person. So his demographic is upper class African American.

Most black people don't make the type of money Obama makes, but neither do most white people. His economic class and race are two different issues. Poor black people may be poor first and then black. Or maybe they're southern first. Or Christian first. You, as outsider can't say which identity had more impact on someone else's life. And being upper class and black is distinctly different from class white anyhow.

Ghetto and black are not synonymous.

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You are making an error of ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 12:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Cali cooper's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

You are making an error of categories. Legality is in the Order of Production. there is also a Symbolic Order. Ayn Rand has been repeatedly accused by PC feminists of the so called "rape" scene in which Dominique and Roark first have sex. she has replied, "If it was rape then it was rape by invitation." Rand was in the Symbolic Order in most of her writing, which accounts for the impact she has had. (Stephenie Meyer too BTW.)The post modern feminists do not make this kind of mistake: Malabou; Zuzanna; et al.

Jean Baudrillard has emphasized the classic - get that! CLASSIC - definition of rape which is NOT to force yourself upon a woman, but to force enjoyment on the woman.

Now I don't know if you have ever been in the throes of passion - lust - (somehow I doubt it) but in that state if surveillance cameras were recording, they would record "rape". I can personally tell you it was not.

All this is to say that in the Symbolic Order you will NEVER know which is which when the signs become ambiguous. Sometimes the woman herself does not know as she fights herself from surrender. The old best sellers before everything became porno explicit, knew this very well. Read Frank Yerby, he knew it. Emily Bronte in Wuthering Heights knew it.

But yes, in the Order of Production you are correct. If you are discussing "rape" in the legal sense, that's where you are. 2 years ago Atlantic Monthly in January ran two articles on this. Coeds now at frat parties get sticking falling down drunk to signal availability for sex and are often, yes, raped in their drunken stupor. The author of the article wonders if they do that to dull the PC drill in their heads in order to get laid, to get a bf. It's an interesting question.

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I made no error. I was clea... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 12:40 PM | Posted, in reply to abbeysbooks's comment, by cali cooper: | Reply

I made no error. I was clear in what I was referencing. If one wants to avoid having sex with a woman *without her consent*, one needs to know what does and does not qualify as consent.

You seem a little hazy on it, but you also don't sound as if English is your first language (not a slight, just feel a slight lilt in your diction), so perhaps the laws are different where you are.

Also a hearty "LOL" to your Ayn Rand reference. If you consider her an authority on absolutely anything, we just disagree fundamentally.

Which is fine. I'm not here to convince anyone, I was only sharing my opinion. Good luck on your classic rape endeavors.

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You would have to read Mich... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 12:50 PM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

You would have to read Michel Foucault and Jean Baudrillard to even begin to know what I was writing. You are in the swamp of psychological interpretation which went out in about 1980 in Europe and now continental philosophy rules. American philosophy only remains relevant to the extent that it is familiar with it and redefines the American perspective on it. I read a paper at St Vincent's in MYC last spring on Delillo and all this in Cosmopolis. There are books and papers on Baudrillard and DeLillo. You just haven't read or studied in this field and say uninformed things.

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Dear god, aren't you precio... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 1:13 PM | Posted, in reply to abbeysbooks's comment, by cali cooper: | Reply

Dear god, aren't you precious? I didn't say anything uninformed sweetheart and I'm familiar with the schools of thought you're regurgitating. But none of it is related to my point. I prefer linear discussions.

I was talking about rape culture in the US, consent and the average young man's familiarity with what does and does not qualify as consent. You are going off on a *slightly* related tangent that doesn't particularly interest me as I am no longer banging 18- year old libertarian philosophy majors who fall somewhere along the autism spectrum.

I know you're going to continue wanking, but there is no misunderstanding here. We're crystal clear.

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So you have a ready-made, s... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 1:59 PM | Posted by abbeysbooks: | Reply

So you have a ready-made, sound bite acquaintance with post modernism. Good. Continue on with linear into the ever receding horizon as you approach it. Good luck.

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Man did I ever pick the wro... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 2:15 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Man did I ever pick the wrong blog to become addicted to. Oh well, back to the archives.

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It's funny to hear men and ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 3:15 PM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

It's funny to hear men and Autism Spectrum or Lesbian women talk about "women who wear make up". Virtually every woman I pass every day is wearing something. Those who aren't don't appear to be going to work and are generally older than 50. Sheer foundation, properly applied mascara and/or blush, men don't notice those things. Just because a woman's eyelids aren't coated in MAC Greensmoke doesn't mean she isn't wearing "shameful" makeup. The irony here is that you think only women treat makeup as a default. Men do as well. They just don't know it. Unless your significantly changing the colors of your face, they don't notice

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as I am no longer banging ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 4:02 PM | Posted, in reply to cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

as I am no longer banging 18- year old libertarian philosophy majors who fall somewhere along the autism spectrum.

you are funny, I like you

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"Honestly I don't think you... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 4:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Cali cooper's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Honestly I don't think you read my entire post" you can bet on it

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Cali,I'd like the ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 6:38 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Cali,

I'd like the links to the military statistics you cite. 1 in 3 equates to 70,000 per year.

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No make-up face. Enjoy.</p... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 7:17 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

No make-up face. Enjoy.

http://unsanesafe.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/my-mug.html

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"Ugh for fucking once it wo... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 9:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Make up for ever's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"Ugh for fucking once it would be nice to read a TLP post where Alone isn't a total superior, judgmental healthier-than-thou hypocrite. This level of judgment and critique is just a gleaming example of his own unchecked narcissism. It would be an added bonus if, for once, Alone looked in the mirror himself and admitted that he, too, is just as guilty as the rest of us."

"For fucking once"? Sounds like you read quite a bit of his stuff. And as you know, if you're reading it, it's for you.

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Has anyone ever wondered wh... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 9:43 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Has anyone ever wondered why mens's suits include shoulder pads that make almost any man look broad shouldered?

Been to the gym lately…???… Not too many guys look remotely the same without the pads. What's up with that? Who are men dressing for?

Probably for the writer of this blog. Everything does eventually circle back to his own desires.

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repetition  Part ... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 10:14 PM | Posted, in reply to Raylene's comment, by jonny: | Reply

repetition   Part of Speech: noun Definition: duplication; doing again Synonyms: alliteration, broken record...

As you decline all opportunities to counter my arguments and logic, I am forced to acknowledge that you are effectively conceding that I am correct. You concur thus far?

To concede that I am correct means that both you and I should be doing the repetition thing; you know, until the horrific world that throws acid on the faces of innocent honest girls for being true to their biology learns how to be sane?

So you must be an thrower of acid onto honest girls, then? How does that make you feel, like less of a whore? How ironic. You become religion's and Society's Whore when you feel ashamed to be true to the humane animal you were coded to be.

There is going to be a reckoning for acid-throwing whores at some point. Mark my words. Hands where I can see them please.

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Holy shit, great site and p... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 10:41 PM | Posted by I read Carl Schmitt - Suck my dick: | Reply

Holy shit, great site and post. One request: please disable the comments so that I don't accidentally read "c.f. Baudrillard's" ever again.

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Dear Alone, No one i... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2013 10:57 PM | Posted by Raylene: | Reply

Dear Alone,
No one is ever going to love you as much as I love you......when i do love you, that is
Raylene

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It's frustrating because I ... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 7:33 AM | Posted by Sammy: | Reply

It's frustrating because I know women could change things for themselves (ourselves).

Breast cancer treatment and prevention has so much funding and attention placed on it because women made that choice, and set up fundraisers and charity walks, etc.

I don't wear makeup because I don't want to, it is not something I am interested in. I know this would hold me back if I ever became a professional or decided to ascend the ladder in my job field, because I don't have a great complexion I "need" makeup.

The only consolation I can bring is that I feel like every woman knows "the rules" and if she chooses to follow them, can achieve anything she wants to achieve. I wonder if men can say the same?

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I agree with you, but my po... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 9:41 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I agree with you, but my point was simply that his world view is probably more influenced by his class than his race. Someone who went to Havard and Yale and travelled the world is going to thing differently than a guy who didn't. So I would class Obama as a rich black guy

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Probably she was very disli... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 12:12 PM | Posted, in reply to Another Byte on the Web's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Probably she was very disliked. And if we're talking high-schoolers these days, the whole thing makes sense. Think of the kids as characters in Lord of the Flies and you'll recognize that every one of those girls hasn't listened to a word an older woman said (if they were going to do anything other than anxiously tell them not to judge others) since they got their first cellphone with text message capability.

Personally, it makes me glad that I never went to parties in high school because I can believe some of the folks in my own town (which wasn't bad) doing this to someone low in the pecking order.

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Also, please nobody read Fo... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 12:26 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Also, please nobody read Focault for God's sake. These Post Modern guys - it's just the inside of Clinton's stray remark, 'That depends on what the definition of 'is' is.'

Continential Philosophy, if it's left of Center is either incomprehensible or useless and will be forgotten like the scattering of sophists that used to be paid to tell people what they wanted to hear. Nietzche is worth reading I guess, but if you understand him everyone 'after' him in Continental philosophy has already been explained and is now obsolete.

Finally power still exists, Focault is full of crap. It may have indeed in most cases become a mere show and no longer in truth what it was, but let's face it, that's not some systemic conspiracy it's just people not using their power.

Now get out there and stop reading blogs.

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You dont have to be a gay w... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 1:20 PM | Posted, in reply to Anon's comment, by eagle: | Reply

You dont have to be a gay woman or a straight man to not wear make-up. I am straight and don't wear make up. For the reason that, um, when I tried to, I was like, why am I poking my eyes with pencils? Also, when you have stuff on your skin, you feel it. And you need to do special things when you eat to avoid messing up your lipstick, or reapplying it after eating. It was clear to me that this bullshit isn't worth it, somehow, but then again, being an ugly teen, make-up didnt make a lot of difference and also my mom didn't push me to doll up because she didnt care, and I never had a lot of friends who could teach me how to apply it. So I guess I was lucky to miss this period of a teenage girl's life where you learn to get used to make-up and start believing that investing 1-2 hours to paint your face every day is a reasonable & rewarding thing to do.

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It's been a month... is Alo... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 5:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's been a month... is Alone still alive?

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...perhaps he has realized ... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 8:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

...perhaps he has realized what a poor writer he is, and, suddenly struck with the realization that his writing is an expression of his contempt for the very people he imagines he is helping, has decided to shut his mouth.

Admittedly this is unlikely, in the same sense that narcissists are unlikely to ever seek real help, but it is always a possibility. I take the silence of this poor creature to be a very hopeful sign.

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TLP sorta says "Real Power ... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 9:14 PM | Posted, in reply to J's comment, by Ariel.: | Reply

TLP sorta says "Real Power let's the wannabes in, but not until it moved itself somewhere else. In the future, Real Power will have moved to a place that looks like X to us today. Where/what do you think X is?"

Firstly: "I am a software dev...software devs are the anti-man culture." Ouch. That's a bit out-dated...and, are you happy in your job, man?

The "anti-man culture" has changed face and grown into an acceptable expression of manliness so much that nowadays it could serve as another case-study for TLP's thesis. There's /b/tards, indie softdev companies, Big-Bang-Theory-curious viewers, people who have guy fawkes masks and know why, anyone who knows wtf afk tpb means, 8-bit musicians. A whole world of nerdgastic, code compiling wonder out there, where, if you are an idea generator, you are a winning mathlete and can have your man-card.

And gaming development, which used to be woosy, then became the be-all-and-end-all, is now collapsing (from an employment perspective). Yet take any 10 random 13yo boys, ask them what career they want, and 12 of them will say "I wanna make computer games like Notch does." Meanwhile Notch is already on top, and the gaming codemonkeys get paid less than hairdressers these days (if they're lucky to have a paid job).

Anyway, in my town in the 80s, this was a fair predictor of university enrolment (followed by job-of-choice): can you get "Hello World" to cascade across your tv screen in rainbow colours using your Vic20 and cassette cartridge?

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Obama stayed with his grand... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 11:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

Obama stayed with his grandmother who worked in a bank. Not wealthy. His grandfather was a kind of attractive, good fellow, lots of personality, no success in life. Shallow I would say. Obama went to a private school with whites. Then after that education he went to a community college. Strange. Not very indicative of a high level of academic achievement. He was sort of pudgy then, smoked cigarettes and still is a nicotine addict. Then he goes to was it NYU on affirmative action I guess and then Harvard Law on the same. He's a pretty guy, or was up until he got in over his head and became Mr. Hope and change.

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Obviously you know nothing ... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2013 11:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

Obviously you know nothing about it but seem to want to warn everybody from taking a look at it. Why is that? Anyway if you want to know anything about it I suggest seeing Brad Pitt's recent movie Killing Them Softly. It's all there. An excruciatingly fine and difficult movie to watch. Not a shred of charm or seduction in it. And so very smart.

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Speaking of narcissism… (he... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2013 11:18 AM | Posted by wtyro: | Reply

Speaking of narcissism… (hey, when aren't we?), I thought you might find this high tech iApp startup, with their pathetically sad/hilarious product video:

http://trycouple.com

It's everything you write about, only played out in Live Action!

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You learn something from ki... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2013 11:30 AM | Posted, in reply to seymourblogger's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You learn something from killing a man. It may be a very important thing, indeed.

But were you better off if you had never learned it?

Focault and his like are an advanced topic in the same way dissecting corpses is an advanced topic. The information will blow your mind but people can live truly fulfilling and enlightened existences without ever having learned it.

But look, if you need to read that stuff to remove the other stuff in your mind, that's cool - I've got a story for you about a lady who swallowed a fly.

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seymourblogger sure does ha... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2013 3:51 PM | Posted by Dan Planwell: | Reply

seymourblogger sure does have a gift for mythology.

Obama as a kind and humble man, made bad by being forced to pursue the office of POTUS for a second term?

Seriously?

Wow. That's some seriously self-blinding narcissism excusing another's caustic narcissism.

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Foucault is not "advanced" ... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2013 3:56 PM | Posted by Dan Planwell: | Reply

Foucault is not "advanced" in anything but confidence gaming, also known as bunco/bunko in piggy parlance.

You can always tell a fake "intellectual" by the way they cite as "impressive thinkers" or "advanced scholars" the very people who are Naked Emperors. Foucault's gift was to create tail-chasing arguments and to be provocative, which in the hands of critical thinkers could be fruitful (where he's provocative) or fertile ground for teaching others (where he's tail-chasing and you can dissect the ouroboros nature of his arguments), but ignoring Foucault entirely leaves one more noggin space to deal with those who actually help you see clearly.

Foucault is like a joke on a joke about academics, he's a double-negative.

So, if you're impressed by Foucault, it's likely you're not the least bit advanced -- not in the noggin power sense, anyway. Being a grifter's victim doesn't really show you to be a genius.

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It's incredibly naive to as... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2013 4:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Dan Planwell's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

It's incredibly naive to associate the appreciation of a thinker's work with that person's intelligence. It's just plain annoying to make that association with laborious purple prose.

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Not all women put on make u... (Below threshold)

February 15, 2013 10:24 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Not all women put on make up to either "feel better about themselves" (ugly or think they're ugly) or for men. Some do it because they know they're beautiful without it but from time to time it's fun to be beautiful in a different way. Sure, that last group enjoys attractiving men, but that attraction could've been accomplished without the make up. And these group of women know it.

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"And if some guy in a Tardi... (Below threshold)

February 16, 2013 2:02 AM | Posted by David H. F*cktrelle-Male Feminist Extraordinaire™: | Reply

"And if some guy in a Tardis showed up and asked, what's up with you and all the slaves, seems like a lot?"

what's a Tardis?

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yours is a very weird and i... (Below threshold)

February 16, 2013 3:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Ariel.'s comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

yours is a very weird and illogic post, full of references to obscure things (notch? Vic 20? Who cares)

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"If you follow that the con... (Below threshold)

February 16, 2013 11:20 AM | Posted by Stephen: | Reply

"If you follow that the consumer unconsciously understands that his masculinity is approved from the outside, by other people, then Valenti is the very person that the ad is arguing against: "these bitches think you're not a man. We at Busmaster tell you differently. Who are you going to believe?" Hell, I'lI believe a Sleestak before I listen to Jessica Valenti, really, those are my only two choices? The ad had no effect on me; her tweet makes me want to join a militia."

I loved this piece overall, section III was spot on. I selected the above blurb because I see it as such a twisted and telling mess of a problem that lies within all of us (males and females). Is the approval really coming from the outside? The young girl above is "outside" to a man, and I interpreted her comment as a disapproval (as opposed to approval, that is worth clarifying). She is making a jab at "what is masculinity" and arguably masculinity itself. And for a man who acknowledges that "the consumer unconsciously understand that his masculinity is approved from the outside" this is a slam. Then you switch to, but Valenti is the very person it (the ad) is arguing against. So she is outside and considered part of the "other people" who could offer approval and validation, yet at the same time, she is the person that is providing disapproval and the ad is arguing AGAINST ("these bitches think you're not a man. We at Bus[h]master tell you differently"). Think about it. Where is the approval really coming from? (In this paragraph it is the female as the outside/other people, but I could have also selected another paragraph from above regarding makeup where the male is the outside/other people to a female). The validation does NOT ultimately come from the outside, it comes from an unattainable place within ourselves (yes it does come back to narcissism!)

Then you switch to "the ad had no effect on me; her tweet makes me want to join a militia." And for the women in the preceding text regarding makeup, it was something along the lines of "men have no effect on my desire to wear makeup, when I see an ad with flawless women in makeup, I tell myself I want to do it for me (as a non-male, because doing it for a male is wrong)!" Different angles, same way of denying the same thing. We cannot find a way to "feel" the approval or acceptance of ourselves on our own, the means of seeking approval/reacting to disapproval is only a consequence of this, after the fact. "her tweet makes me want to join a militia" and (paraphrasing) "I'm wearing the makeup NOT for men" are the consequence.

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It's just plain annoyin... (Below threshold)

February 16, 2013 12:57 PM | Posted by Dan Planwell: | Reply

It's just plain annoying to make that association with laborious purple prose.

Form chosen for satire value.

Sorry you missed that.

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The problem with the origin... (Below threshold)

February 16, 2013 2:32 PM | Posted, in reply to Stephen's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

The problem with the original post is that the writer is not wholly aware of post modern thinking on this. Judith Butler has written the most on Gender Trouble, as she has asserted that gender, not sex, is socially constructed. And at this moment in time the boundaries are very porous. Even the "suit" man is confusing as are women to men and to themselves. Well, that just means we are in flux about this issue. And the post on makeup is just a small part of it and it confuses the issue and acts as a mask that dissembles this lack of masculine or feminine delineated boundary. I find this thread informed but not informed enough which mirrors the post itself.

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I hope you read the thread ... (Below threshold)

February 16, 2013 8:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Ariel: | Reply

I hope you read the thread I was replying to first - I was talking expressly about software engineering and IT as a possible future home for Real Power. Those references are not obscure if you are familiar with, or part of, the demographic. Which is the backstory to my whole point: you can't say software engineering isn't going to be tomorrow's repository of Real Power just because it was nerdsville yesterday. And you certainly can't refute the idea by grizzling that you don't get the references.

Personally, I think computing is where "it's" at today, but "it's" already looking for somewhere else to go.

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It's been over a month... I... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 2:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's been over a month... I need my fix of TLP!

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No matter how much Judith B... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 6:08 PM | Posted by Dan Planwell: | Reply

No matter how much Judith Butler writes ("the most" or otherwise) her view is only that of one woman, and from what I've seen, a woman whose gender and sexuality are very fluid -- at least in contrast to historical gender and sex roles. That fluidity gives her maybe a powerful insight, or at least a unique one, but it is no guarantee that she's correct, or that her views have been properly scrutinized for psychological baggage like defensiveness, projection, distortion, blaming others to excuse self, blaming constructs and categories instead of individuals, etc.

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She occupies a prominent pl... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 6:14 PM | Posted, in reply to Dan Planwell's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

She occupies a prominent place in all post modern feminist thinking and writing. She is difficult to read and learn, yes. Her intention is NOT to be a theorist, to be right, to be hypothesized about, etc. She is being wooed from Berkeley to Columbia so I guess I would assume she is considered a valuable addition to any faculty. She spoke at Occupy Wall Street. Psychological interpretation is part of the old Discourse that is fading away. Stay there if you want but the ship has left the dock.

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That's the whole point of F... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 6:19 PM | Posted, in reply to Dan Planwell's comment, by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

That's the whole point of Freudianism, isn't it, that ANYBODY AT ALL can be taken down in this manner, by attributing defensiveness or what have you to their views. These attributions are the way the mainstream defends itself. They are Defensiveness Inc. (and projection).

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The only way to check one's... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 6:33 PM | Posted by Jennifer Frances Armstrong: | Reply

The only way to check one's psychological defenses, to know how deep they are, and to be rid of them for moments at a time, is by "facing death":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gNXZGkrTIU

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Yes. It's the Dominating Di... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 6:38 PM | Posted, in reply to Jennifer Frances Armstrong's comment, by abbeysbooks: | Reply

Yes. It's the Dominating Discourse Foucault discusses. Masculine thinking whether one is sexed male or female.

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Not a fan of part 1. The c... (Below threshold)

February 17, 2013 10:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Not a fan of part 1. The concept of the mirror is one of the most important factors in self-awareness and identity. Feedback is a major tool for building the self. The outward does in fact turn inward, whether we like it or not.

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